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Fire Safety Guidelines at GLF


  • Anyone planning to burn at GLF Retreat must attend one fire safety meeting before burning. Times will be posted on the workshop schedule.

  • Burns are only allowed in the designated burn circle during scheduled open burns.

  • You must use the provided fuel depot and spin off area. No rogue burns or fuel dumps.

  • Everyone must enter the fire circle at the designated entry. The fire manager will be stationed at the entrance. Listen to the fire manager. They will direct you to an open spot. Be sure to give other people who are burning adequate distance for the type of prop they are using. Some props need more space than others.

  • We will have volunteer fire safeties present during open burn times equipped with damp towels. Make eye contact with the closest fire safety before starting. If you are a virgin, be sure to tell your fire safety so that they know to keep a closer eye on you.

  • Be smart! ­Do tricks you know how to do well, wear clothing that is better suited for fire, and follow this guide.

  • Be in the right state of mind. Do not burn while intoxicated. We reserve the right to ask anyone for any reason to stop burning.

  • Respect the fire. Find your flow. Breathe and have fun!


  • Below are the only fuels we will be using. Please bring fuel to donate.

  • White gas: Fast fuel, low flashpoint (quick to light), high flammability, produces big, bright fire. White gas emits vapors (evaporates) and can be potentially dangerous.

  • Lamp oil: slow fuel, high flash point, slow to light, oil-based, burns long, and hard to clean up.

  • 50/50 Combination: The half-and-half combination of white gas and lamp oil provides a large flame that is quick to light but lasts a good amount of time.

  • We will not be providing fuel for fire-breathing. If you plan to breathe fire, you must bring your own fuel.

**No smoking or any other substances

in the fueling area!!!**­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Clothing & Hair

  • Wear Natural Fibers: When burning, natural fiber materials are best as these will catch fire and singe. Examples include leather, 100% cotton, wool, hemp, silk, or bamboo.

  • Avoid Synthetics: When burned, these will melt­ to your skin! Examples include but not limited to fleece, polyester, and rayon.

  • Blends: Some blends are acceptable, others are not. The lowest acceptable blend is 80% natural fiber / 20% synthetic. 100% natural fibers are the best.

  • When in doubt, test a corner of the fabric to see if it melts when lit on fire.

  • Do not use dryer sheets with your spinning clothes as they flammable.

  • Hair: Tie hair back and wet small flyaway areas (like bangs) or cover with a hat, bandana, or scarf made of natural fibers only. If you have accents in your hair (highlights, dreadlocks, feathers, wraps, beads, etc.), make sure to keep them covered as some dyes and materials are flammable.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­


  • Fire Gear: Check your gear before each burn. Are all the bolts tightened and screwed tight? Loose Kevlar needs to be cut off.

  • Tools: Have tools such as pliers on hand to tighten/adjust gear as needed.

  • Flashlights/Headlamps: Though the fuel dump will have light, these items can be helpful to find equipment easier in the dark.

  • First Aid Kit: There will be first aid volunteers on-site throughout the weekend, but it is always a good idea to pack your own first aid kit. This generally includes bandages, burn ointment (like A&D, BurnJel, aloe vera, or you can talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for burn cream preemptively - many will provide a prescription if you tell them about your fire arts!), some form of painkiller (ibuprofen, acetaminophen), and an antibiotic ointment for small cuts or scrapes.


  • Weather: Wind, rain, and severe weather are our biggest concerns. Pay attention to how hard the wind is blowing and in what direction as this will affect the fire on your prop. Wet ground affects the fire circle and safety.

  • Surroundings: Be aware of your footing, the ground, trees, etc.

  • Noise: Can you hear if your safety needs your attention?

**Your safety is important to us. We reserve the right to close the fire circle at any time, especially if inclement weather makes the environment unsafe for burning.**


The first rule of fire breathing is: don’t do it! But, we love you and if you’re going to do it anyway, please abide by the following guidelines:

  • Fire breathing is most safely executed when using ultra-pure lamp oil. We will not be providing fuel for fire breathing. Fire breathers must bring their own fuel and use extreme caution when storing fuel at their campsites, including storing it away from fire pits, high traffic areas, and out of reach of children.

  • Wind conditions must be perfect or you run the risk of burning yourself.

  • Fire breathers must have their own experienced, dedicated safeties who feel comfortable with the performer’s routine.

  • Sobriety is key with fire breathing and this type of performance can be denied at any time.

Extinguishing Fire

The process of extinguishing fires on props and people and at the fuel station is detailed in this section. As a performer, you need to know the process. All volunteer safeties will be trained in this manner.


Those who plan to burn - and all fire safety volunteers - at GLF must attend a mandatory fire safety workshop. Three will be offered: one on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The fire safety workshop times will be posted in the schedule.




  • The individual spinning fire should make eye contact with the closest safety and let them know they are done spinning even though their prop is still lit. When approaching the fire safety, pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of others around you. The safety will lower their wet towel to the ground while still holding on to two corners. Place your lit gear on the blanket and step back. Communication is key!

  • The safety will quickly fold the towel around the prop to remove all the air and squelch the fire. Never pat the fire out, as it lacks the compression aspect of smothering and adds oxygen to open spaces in the blanket.

  • Safeties will open the towel carefully. Sometimes there’s a fiery surprise left inside and must be squelched again.




  • If a person catches fire, the safety will make eye contact with the individual and will call out to spinner: “STOP, <NAME>. FIRE, <BODY PART (and its location)>!”. As in, “STOP, KEVIN. FIRE, LEFT SHOULDER!” If the safety does not know the spinner’s name they will say the spinner’s prop instead of their name while making eye contact. “STOP, FANS. FIRE, LEFT SHOULDER!”

  • The spinner must stop, drop their prop, and BRUSH fire off clothing if reachable. Do not pat . If the spinner can’t reach the fire or can’t put it out themselves, their safety will step in and wrap the towel around the affected area to smolder it from the bottom up.

  • The person on fire SHOULD NOT RUN!

  • Pull fabric that is on fire away from the skin, if possible, to avoid burns.

  • If gear becomes tangled, the spinner should STOP and RELEASE gear from hands. If tangled around feet, it is best to sit on the ground and move the prop as far away from the body until the fire safety arrives to extinguish it. If this is not possible for the spinner to achieve this on their own, the safety should pull the gear AWAY from the spinner’s hands or feet before wrapping to smother.

  • Never use a fire extinguisher on people. Never.




  • If the fire is still small in size, put the the lid on the fuel container to smother the flame and stop the fire.

  • If the fire is large, use the appropriate type of fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers will be provided at the fuel station.

  • If the fire is spreading rapidly, protect people in the immediate area, including yourself. Clear the area. Gear can be replaced and the grass will regrow. You are more important than property! ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Fire Spinning Checklist

  • Always check gear for loose connections or fittings before spinning and tighten your hardware! This includes nuts, bolts, screws, chains links, etc.

  • Snip any frayed Kevlar pieces.

  • Double-check your handles and frames.

  • Check your clothing for any hanging pieces or synthetic materials.

  • Spin off in the approved spin off area. Make sure no one is in your spin-off path.

  • Check your hair. Secure flyaways.

  • Check in with head safety at burn circle entrance.

  • Make eye contact with the closest fire safety.

  • Have fun, be safe, and support and protect each other!

Adapted with love from the Chicago Full Moon Jams’ Basic Fire Performance Safety Guidelines.

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