Fire Performer Certificate of Fitness

A license to burn!


Step 1:

Download and read the FDNY Study Materials for the E-28/E-29 Certificate of Fitness.


Step 2:

Take an accepted Fire Safety course. There are currently two that are accepted by the FDNY: Combustion Inc. fire safety course in person, or the Flow Arts Institute Safety Course online. The Combustion Inc. Fire Safety Course is a 5 hour in person, hands on course for $50. Part 1 covers how to safely work with fire arts and is recommended for beginners and experts. Since it’s in person, it involves real demonstrations with fire to show how certain fuels burn, and practical instruction in how to extinguish props, a burning can of fuel, and even a burning person. “Fire virgins" will also get an opportunity to spin a fire prop for the first time (if they meet a minimum requirement of time spinning the prop unlit). Part 2 of the class is a lecture about considerations when using flame effects indoors, FDNY preferences, and tips for taking the test. The class is then open for Q&A with Tara McManus. Once the class is over, you will receive a certificate of completion.


The other accepted course The Flow Arts Institute Safety Course is is an online test that is only $15. You simply purchase the course online and receive an email link to the material. It consists of 11 videos, each video is followed by a series of questions. The videos total 3 hours of material, taking the tests with the videos will take about 8 hours total, taking notes during the video screening is recommended. Once you have taken all the test, the link in the email will take you to the certificate.


Step 3:

Gather up your credentials and make an appointment to take the FDNY test. Once you have all of your paperwork together, you can email [email protected] for an appointment. You will need the following:

- A certificate from an accepted fire safety course (FAI or Combustion Inc.)

- A letter of recommendation from an E-28 holder or a relevant employer (such as a venue that has permitted fire performances or a troupe)

- A resume detailing experience performing fire, which should include legal performances (at venues which obtained the permit for a fire performance), performances under the supervision of an E-28 holder, and out of town shows and festivals.

- Two passport photos

- A completed application for certificate of fitness (A-20 Form)

- Two forms of identification; at least one form of identification must be a government-issued photo ID.


Step 4:

Go to the FDNY headquarters for an in-person interview and verbal test with an inspector from the explosives unit, then take a 20-30 multiple-choice questions, administered on a touch-screen computer monitor. You need a score of 70% or more to pass. It costs $25 and you will receive a license card once you have passed.


Remember: Even once a performer has a certificate of fitness, they also need insurance. In order to perform, the venue will still need a permit to host a legal fire show, the performer can help the venue obtain the permit.