Safety is our Main Focus


The Pirates of the Dark Rose are committed to the safe display and demonstration of swordplay, blackpowder flintlock arms, and cannons, both for our audiences and for ourselvelves

We maintain a one million dollar liability policy on ourselves which has never been used. Our insurance policy, through the NRA re-enactor insurance program, can also name promoters as additional insured for a small fee.


General Safety Standards. We designate a safety officer for each event, responsible for working with the promoter to insure spectator viewing from the proper distance. Our safety officer will co-ordinate our own crew members as well as the event staff in crowd control. We use natural as well as rope barriers, and sometimes "living fences" when crowd control requires quick set up to accommodate the fluid dynamics of a battle. We also do a safety review of each major event to identify and correct anything noted by any crew as less than safe.


Safety Standards for Swordplay. Demonstrations of swordplay are with non-sharp blades, especially designed for the purpose. Our rule within the crew is that no sharp blades are allowed to be carried at events, and we do not allow spectators to handle our blades. We train with professional fight instructors from film and stage and use the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) safety standards for our fights.


Safety Standards for Flintlock Arms. The crew follows national standards for re-enactors by measuring each charge and using no wadding and thereby no ramrods in all situations except very specific circumstances when a bread wadding (considered the safest) must be used to hold in the gunpowder when the gun must be carried pointed downward. We do not allow spectators to handle our small arms. A Blackpowder Captain trained as a firearms instructor by the National Rifle Association is designated for the crew.


Safety Standards for Cannons. All cannons are constructed and fired to meet or exceed the National Safety Rules and Procedures For Shooting Muzzleloading Artillery (the AAA or Artilleryman Rules).


In addition, the crew of The Pirates of the Dark Rose hold the following licenses or certificates of training in cannon safety:

  • Maine Competent Operator (Fireworks, Proximate Audience) License # 2905
  • Massachusetts Cannon/Mortar Certificate of Competency #CN 4069
  • Florida State Parks Blackpowder Training Certificate
  • Illinois State Parks Blackpowder Training Certificate
  • National Park Service – Participation in Historic Weapons Program at Castillo De San Marcos & Fort Matanzas National Monuments