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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

FREE 'Fire Safety Guide' Download:

Our Fire and Fuel Safety Guide, supplied with all Fyregear, can also be downloaded as a PDF at the bottom of our Fire and Fuel Safety Guide page. It includes important information on fire safety, equipment and precautions, suitable clothing, instructions on dipping, lighting and extinguishing your wicks, the pros and cons of various fire fuels and also some first aid for burns.

Each of our products has a link at the bottom of its page to ask a product-specific question.

You can also submit questions using our contact page here

  • Should I get Fire Poi or a Fire Staff?
  • How long will my Fyregear last?
  • How do I look after my Fyregear?
  • What is Kevlar?
  • Why is Fyregear's wick better than other wicks?
  • What Fire Fuel should I use?
  • What is the difference between Fyregear's Fire Poi heads?

  • How long should my Fire Poi be?
  • How long should my Fire Staff be?
  • Health and Safety: is playing with fire dangerous?

Should I get Fire Poi or a Fire Staff?

This is an entirely personal decision. It’s a good idea to try other people’s equipment and see what you prefer. If you have no one whose equipment you can try, then try spinning a broom handle (as a substitute staff) or socks with a tennis ball in the end of each (as substitute poi). See which you like the feel of best. 

How long will my Fyregear last?

That depends entirely on how much you use it and how well you look after it. The average set of fire poi or fire staff should last the average user about 1 year before it needs new fire wicks. At this point it’s only the fire wick you need the replace as all the other components will last much longer.

How do I look after my Fyregear?

  • Extinguish your fire wicks before they run out of fuel and burn out on their own. This prevents the fire wick from burning (as opposed to just the fuel in the wick burning). Put it out by smothering it with the damp safety towel.
  • Do not leave fire wicks to smoulder as this damages the fire wick
  • Do not hit or drag your fire wicks on the ground or rough surfaces as this shreds the wick fibres.
  • Put a cover over your fire wick when practising, as this will protect them from damage when they are dropped. (TIP: socks make pretty good covers for your fire wicks)
  • Do not store your fire staff or fire eating/breathing sticks in tubes/canisters in hot places, where heat and moisture can build up in the tube, as this can cause damage to the rubber grip
  • Store your fire toys in a dry place as this will stop your fire wick absorbing moisture (wet wicks won’t light or will quickly go out).
  • Do not use a fire staff to support the weight of your body when doing flips and airborne tricks as the weight will, over time, bend your fire staff, especially when the staff has been heated by fire
  • Do not leave your fire wicks out in the sun for extended periods as the UV ultraviolet light in sunlight causes discoloration and some degradation of the fibres in KEVLAR ®. 
  • The chemicals used to create coloured flames will rapidly degrade your fire wicks
  • Do not leave your fire toys unattended at parties as this is where most fire equipment gets “lost”.

What is Kevlar ®?

KEVLAR ® was introduced by DuPont in the 1970s. It was the first organic fibre with sufficient tensile strength and modulus to be used in advanced composites. The chemical composition of KEVLAR ® is poly para-phenyleneterephthalamide, and it is more properly known as a para-aramid. The aramid ring gives KEVLAR ® thermal stability, while the para structure gives it high strength and modulus. KEVLAR ® is strong enough to stop bullets and knives - often described as being "five times stronger than steel on an equal weight basis". It's excellent at withstanding high temperatures and decomposes only at about 450°C or 850°F. The KEVLAR ® used on our fire equipment is blended with glass fibre. This gives it extra strength and helps with fire fuel absorbency. For more information on KEVLAR ® you can visit the DuPont website http://www2.dupont.com/Kevlar/en_US/index.html

Our Kevlar fire wick: Our industrial grade, long-life Kevlar Fire Wick is a blend of Kevlar (para-aramid fibre) and fibreglass. This is as good as fire wick gets. It is made especially for use as a fire wick so it has an optimal balance of absorbency, strength and durability. Our Kevlar fire wicks are safe and suitable for fire eating and body contact fire performance.

What is a BAD wick?

Beware of dangerous imitation 'fire wick' such as: Cotton: white and will fall apart after the first burn. Asbestos: white, fire-proof and deadly. Causes lung disease. Often made in Thailand and other parts of Asia. Metallic Blends: they often look the same as good, safe Kevlar blends, however, they contain metal thread to give them strength which, when heated, becomes brittle. The result is sharp (and HOT!) metal particles which break off when you are fire eating or when your skin comes in contact with it. You do NOT want that stuck to you!

What Fire Fuel should I use?

More detailed information about fuels is available on our Fire and Fuel Safety Guide page but here is the short version:

  • Kerosene is non-explosive and needs a wick to burn. It is quick to light and has a bright flame. It burns very hot compared to the low temperature flame of RecosolG. It also produces a lot of smoke/soot and has a very strong smell. The soot and smell will get all over you, your clothes, you hair and your equipment. It also tastes really bad if you do fire eating. Only use it if you can't get any RecosolG. Available at supermarkets & hardware stores.
  • Lamp Oil is kerosene without the bad smell. It is non-explosive and needs a wick to burn. It produces less smoke and looks cleaner, however, the additives that make it less stinky and smokey also make it more poisonous. It is slow to light and burns very hot compared to the low temperature flame of RecosolG. Only use it if you can't get any RecosolG OR Kerosene. Available at supermarkets & hardware stores.
  • RecosolG (the fire fuel we supply) is also known as Isoparaffin and Hydrotreated Heavy Naphtha. It is non-explosive and needs a wick to burn. It lights as fast and bright as kerosene but burns as cleanly as smokeless, odorless lamp oil. It is also flavourless. It has a low temperature flame making it very suitable for close contact fire performance styles, such as fire eating and body tracing. It is used and recommended by professional fire performers. Available from Fyregear and the Perth Fire Group.   

What is the difference between Fyregear's Fire Poi heads? 

poi_heads.jpg

There are 4 main differences between these Poi head types; shape, weight, burn time and flame size.

THE SHAPE affects the Fire Poi visually, as well as how the flame is distributed. A long head/wick like the snake poi have a very long flame as opposed to the other head/wick varieties. Some say the shape of the head/wick also affects the aerodynamics of the fire poi as they move through the air. This aerodynamic effect is minimal but to some fire spinners it’s enough to sway their choice of poi head. Monkey Fist Fire Poi are the most aerodynamic and attractive poi heads when it comes to shape.

THE WEIGHT of a Fire Poi head depends on the amount of fire wick and the type of core used. The more fire wick and the bigger the core, the heavier the Fire Poi. Cathedral Fire Poi and Snake Fire Poi have the most wick as they have no core, all the other fire poi heads have a core. Monkey Fist Fire Poi have the heaviest core and also have the 2.5m of rope wick on each poi head. This makes Monkey Fist Fire Poi the heaviest fire poi in the “standard” fire poi size range (322g per pair of 2.5 inch heads).

  • 65mm (2.5 inch) Monkey Fist Fire Poi (322g per pair)
  • 50mm (2 inch) Cathedral Fire Poi (300g)
  • 100mm (4 inch) Rolled Head Fire Poi and Snake Fire Poi (290g)
  • 65mm (2.5 inch) Rolled Head Fire Poi (222g)
  • 50mm (2 inch) Rolled Head Fire Poi (208g)

THE BURN-TIME of a set of Fire Poi depends mostly on the amount of wick used on the poi heads. The more wick there is, the more fuel can be absorbed and the longer the poi will burn. All the Rolled-Head Fire Poi burn for about the same time because even though there is twice as much wick on a 100mm (4 inch) poi as a 50mm (2 inch) poi, there is also twice as much surface area to burn off the fuel. So you get a flame twice the size but the same burn time. Monkey Fist Fire Poi and Cathedral Fire Poi burn longer than rolled head poi as they have a lot of wick in a compact head. The difference in burn-time between the two isn’t much, with both burning for approximately 4.5 minutes.

  • The Monkey Fist Fire Poi and Cathedral Fire Poi burn for about 4.5 minutes.
  • The Rolled-Head Fire Poi burn for about 3.5 minutes.
  • The 25mm (1 inch) Snake Fire Poi burn for about 2 minutes (they have a lot of wick BUT also have a lot of surface area to burn off fuel faster)

NOTE: Burn-times are approximate only and stated here for comparison reasons only. Burn-time depends on other factors also, such as ambient temperature, fuel type used, condition of wick and speed of spinning.

THE FLAME SIZE depends on both the shape of the poi head and the fire fuel used. Assuming you are using a fire fuel that gives a good flame (such as RecosolG or Lamp Oil), the biggest flames will be created by the Snake Fire Poi due to the surface area of the wick. The 100mm (4 inch) Rolled-Head Fire Poi will produce the next largest flame and so on. Generally the bigger the poi head the bigger the flame. Also, staves and poi with multiple heads/wicks will produce large amounts of flame.

Why are all Fyregear Fire Poi made 76cm (30”) long?

We make all our Fire Poi at a standard length of 76cm (30 inches) as this length should be long enough for anyone up to 180cm (6 foot) tall. (which includes most people). This is because you can then shorten the poi chains to whatever length you prefer. You can do this by moving one of the lower poi chain links up to the split ring or by cutting the poi chain shorter with bolt cutters. (if you do not have your own, it can be cut at any hardware store that sells chain by the metre, just ask!) If you are taller than 180cm or just perfer your poi chains to be extra long, just ask and we will supply an extra long set of poi chains with your order at no extra cost.

How long should my Fire Poi be?

Hold your poi so that they hang from your fingers by the finger-loops, hold the poi with your arm hanging straight down and the poi hanging by your side. The poi heads/wicks should be just off the ground. If your poi are touching the floor they may get damaged while spinning them. Play around with the poi length to see if you prefer them longer or shorter than this.

 

How long should my Fire Staff be?

An 'average' Fire Staff is usually the same distance from the floor up to, or just under, your armpit. The 1200mm fire staff is the most common length, followed by the 1400mm. Play around with the staff length to see if you prefer them longer or shorter than this. If a staff is too long for you it can limit your range of movement and may hit the ground when doing a few moves (such as passing it behind your back or between your legs) Thanks to it's extra length and weight, a longer staff will allow you to do a few contact staff moves as well as standard hand-spinning moves. If you are new to fire then you might like that a longer staff means the flames are a bit further away from you. A shorter staff allows more freedom of movement than a longer staff. It also makes it easier to use 2 at a time (twin or double staves

 

Health and Safety: is playing with fire dangerous?

The short answer is, YES. You are playing with fire. The fumes given off by the burning of hydrocarbons are toxic. (most fire fuels are hydrocarbons) EVERYONE that plays with fire WILL get at least one burn at sometime in their fire spinning life. When it eventually does happen, you will be very relieved to remember that you spent those few minutes reading about first aid for burns and other handy and super important information in our Fire & Fuel Safety Guide that can be downloaded as a PDF file right here at the bottom of this page... Ooh look there it is!  


click here to get our Fire Safety Guide as a PDF