Fire Eating and Fire Breathing FAQ

This is a PROVISIONAL document. The information may not be completely correct and ideas suggested here may not be the best or safest way to work or learn fire-eating.

Comments and suggestions to Peter Bendall,


This information may not be reproduced without the following warning:

Fire Eating and particularly Fire-Breathing is possibly the most dangerous and potentially injurious art to be found in circus, theatre and street performing. Experimenting without knowledge may be fatal and the first steps should be taken ONLY in the presence of an experienced person who fully understands the dangers.
  1. What are the dangers of fire eating / fire breathing?

  2. What is the safest fuel to use?

    A cross reference list for common fuels may be found in the Fuel FAQ of the rec.backcountry newsgroup. Related information can also be found in the JIS torches pages.

    Some lamp oils may contain unknown colourings or additives. One product sold for fire eating was removed from the market because the chemicals which were used to make it colourless and odourless were extremely dangerous.

  3. What is the safest form of fire "torch"?

  4. How do I travel fuel, set it out in street/stage performance?

  5. How do I begin?

  6. How do I build up a fire routine?

    The three basic "skills" in a fire eating presentation are:

    You just need plenty of practice at these before you can elaborate.
    For example, use double ended, longer, sticks, or use a wheel with four or six sticks fired into a hub so that you can spin the burning wheel.

    [PB]One of my former pupils uses a five stick wheel, all lit, and:

    [PB] I always suggest the "fire torture" to begin an act. Here the burning torches are seemingly touched to various parts of the body. [just skimming over the skin] Hands, feet, arms, stomach, [later tongue].

  7. What about "Blow Outs" = Fire Breathing?

Fire Eating and Fire Breathing FAQ / Juggling Information Service /
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