Create practical fire effects

Business Sectors (Suites): Physical Special Effects
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 01 Mar 2017


This Standard is about your ability to design and produce practical fire effects. It requires knowledge of ignition and extinguishing methods and the health and safety management which surrounds this work. You must be fully aware of the procedures and protocols around igniting, controlling and extinguishing a practical fire. This Standard is not concerned with explosive fireballs; these fall under the auspices of pyrotechnics. This Standard is for you if you create practical fire special effects.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. create practical fire effects in line with production script

    breakdown and budget constraints

    1. check the location is suitable for fire effects being produced

    2. use the most appropriate materials to create fire effects

    3. consult with and communicate all aspects of designs to key

    production personnel

    1. exchange clear information with all departments involved with


    1. source, purchase, transport and store regulated materials in

    compliance with current legislation

    1. use reliable information to assess the impact of effects on location

    and its environment

    1. provide guidance on all health and safety aspects of effects and

    their materials to appropriate heads of department and production


    1. ensure there is adequate provision for cast and crew safety in line

    with legislation

    1. employ competent crew with relevant skills and experience for the


    1. maintain records of materials used, transportation and storage in

    appropriate formats

    1. liaise with relevant bodies and enforcing authorities to ensure all

    legal protocols are adhered to

    1. advise relevant people when personal protective equipment is


    1. make sure that suitable and competent fire cover is present

    2. record all aspects of risk assessment and management in

    required formats, providing documentation to others as required

    1. make sure that all materials used are disposed of in line with legal

    and production requirements

    1. make sure that locations are returned to their required state

    2. provide alternative solutions within budget and schedule when

    effects cannot be produced to original design or budget

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. script breakdown, budget and schedule for the fire effects

    1. the range of practical fire effects and how to achieve them

    2. the steps taken to create a stunt body burn

    3. current health and safety legislation and industry standards to be

    met when creating practical fire effects

    1. the role of the the art department regarding flame retarded sets

    2. the environment in which the effect is being tested and executed

    3. the necessary fire prevention and retarding requirements

    4. the various methods of ignition and extinguishing

    5. the fume extraction and ventilation testing required

    6. the properties of the different flammable materials available, how

    to use them and their disadvantages

    1. how flammable materials can be sourced or manufactured

    2. how to use hoses, connections and valves and outlet devices for

    fire effects

    1. the correct procedures for transporting and storing flammable


    1. how to act in case of emergency or accident

    2. the different equipment used for different scale fires

    3. safe operating positions for crew on set

    4. the appropriate levels of special effects staff coverage to ensure

    the safety of cast and crew at all times

    1. how to employ competent individuals or third party specialists to

    work collaboratively within a team

    1. the items of personal protective equipment to distribute and to


    1. how to liaise with local fire officers and when it is appropriate to do


    1. what can be achieved by post production and visual effects


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Mar 2020





Originating Organisation

Creative skillset

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Physical Special Effects Professionals

SOC Code



Physical special effects; Design; Plan; Practical fire effect; Explosive effect; Breakdown; Budget