How We Make The Fire and Why It’s Safe
“We were very impressed with your professionalism and attention to detail...and so was the Miami Beach Fire Dept.; they said it was the largest fire they’ve ever allowed on the beach, and you’re welcome back!”-Deco Productions, Hialeah, FI.
“We don’t normally endorse people who set fires, but you showed how to do it right and safe”
Trappe, Pa. Fire Dept.
Firewalking has occurred throughout recorded history worldwide. Since the 1970's, over
500,000 Americans and hundreds of groups and corporations have utilized this event as a motivational tool. Methods of presentation differ among instructors, the best known being Tony Robbins, who
regularly holds firewalk events at major hotels, where over 2000 people successfully cross up to 10 or
more coalbeds in one evening. Our events average 50-250 participants and usually only one coalbed.
For every 100-150 walkers, 1/2 to-1 full cord of dried, non-treated, seasoned firewood is used.
selection, including an acceptable btu rating is critical and will be chosen by Robert Cork Kallen,
President and Certified Master Firewalk Instructor of The Achievement Group.
The firewalk area is prepared as follows: The entire firepit/coalbed area is prepared on a flat surface of grass, concrete, asphalt, dirt or sand at a sufficient distance from any wooden, combustible structure, surface or material, taking into consideration the wind and other potential weather conditions that are or may be present at the time of lighting the fire. If the base ground is sand, the surface of the sand is first leveled with rakes, then topped with concrete wonder-board sections to cover an area approx. 6 ft. x 12 ft. to further stabilize and level the surface. If the base surface is not sand, and if necessary, a heavy duty fire- retardant tarp may be placed on the surface to keep the surface as clean as possible. In any event, a double layer of moist sod is placed to cover the 6 ft. x 12 ft. area, and a single layer of sod is extended on all sides to cover an area approx. 12 ft. x 20 ft. The wood is then stacked in a crisscross fashion in a circle
or rectangle shape approx. 3 ft. wide x 3 ft. high x 5 ft. long over the area of the double layer of sod.
Sliced fire logs are interspersed throughout the wood pile to be used as a starter. Approx. 1 % gallons of pure fluid is poured on the wood and lit. We usually use a vegetable oil. In some cases, kerosene may be used. Any smoke that may initially rise from the initial lighting usually dissipates in 5-10 minutes. Any nearby trees, shrubs, plants, etc. that are anywhere near the firepit are doused initially and continuously as needed by our staff and a hose.
Our fire tender staff stands by with rakes, shovels, a hose attached to a pre-tested water source, and a 20 lb. pre-tested fire extinguisher. After approx. 2 “2-3 hours, the wood pile has collapsed into a pile of coals, which are then smashed down, leveled and spread out in a 5 ft. x 10-12 ft. rectangle or in a 10 ft. diameter circle.
NOTE: The coalbed can be brought, but never made, indoors, to be walked on, with permission from the venue and local fire official, who must be made aware of the firewalk event in any event (any permits that may be necessary must be arranged well in advance of the event). If indoors, the coals are transported in metal wheelbarrows and extra tarps and sheeting are placed below the other surfaces below the coalbed. Indoor firewalking has been done many times in television studios, hotels, etc. However, rain will not douse the fire, so we always walk rain or shine!
The Firewalk Itself
The barefoot participants, having been pre-registered with I.D. tags and having received instructions and other preparations either indoors or out, depending on the event demands and the weather, then enter the roped-off or otherwise-secured firewalk area (all walkways, paths leading to and from the coalbed have been previously checked for debris or hazards). They then proceed to take 4-5 steps in 2-3 seconds over the coals to the other side. Their feet are then sprayed by staff (to remove any dirt/debris) and then assisted into and out of a source of cold water and then led or directed to an area to wait for the other participants to conclude their walk and/or time permitting, they may take another pass over the coals. Participants then return to the event preparation area to dry off and retrieve footwear. Closing instructions, suggestions and congratulations are given and the event is at an end. In the rare event that anyone should feel the need, aloe, ice and other heat-soothing materials are available. Participants have been pre-instructed regarding post-firewalk possibilities. No firemen or apparatus or medical personnel
are utilized unless demanded by the client, venue, municipality, etc.
The coalbed is srayed dead out immediately after the last walker by staff. When completely
extinguished, the coals, sod, wonderboard, etc. are placed in heavy-duty contractor waste bags and put in a dumpster. The sand or other base surface is then raked and returned to its original condition.
The Achievement Groups’ Firewalk instructor, Robert Cork Kallen, has received formal training from The Firewalking Institute of Research and Education in California. He has led firewalks for Fortune 500 companies and other groups in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Jamaica. He is a former plaintiff's personal injury attorney from Philadelphia, PA. His firewalks have been featured in The Miami Herald and leading Meeting Planning magazines. References are available upon request, along with our Indemnity Agreement and Declaration Of Personal Responsibility (Waiver), which is pre-signed by all participants and explained and made part of the firewalk preparation.