Reducing the Risks of your Fireworks Display

When you host a special event with fireworks or a bonfire, taking precautions to reduce the risks and keep your employees and spectators injury-free is hugely important.

The essentials you need to know

Injuries and accidents can occur because people do not realise how dangerous fireworks can be.

This is what you need to do to be insured for your event:

  • Ensure the display and bonfire is at least 100 metres* away from all property and any flammable or dangerous materials. Fireworks must be British Standard 887114:1988 and not modified.
  • Organise the event in accordance with the latest guidance available from your Health and Safety Executive and Fireworks manufacturer.
* If you have any queries regarding the 100 metre requirement, please contact us for more information.

Being Prepared

Make sure the site is suitable for your display – Review the space you have for your display – this includes ensuring there is enough space for fireworks to land well away from spectators, checking overhead powerlines and major roads that would be affected by smoke.

Plan spectator controls – Post appropriate signs, keep spectators a safe distance away from the display and arrange for plenty of stewards to be responsible for spectators’ safety. Ensure exit routes are clearly marked and well-lit and also ensure emergency vehicles can get easy access.

Check the weather – Check weather reports both before and on the day of your event, especially for wind direction.

Arrange for the correct delivery, storage, use and disposal of your fireworks – Make sure you obtain the fireworks from a reputable supplier. Ensure that your employees are properly trained on all tasks. The morning after, carefully check and clear the site. Dispose of fireworks safely.

Plan for what to do if things go wrong – Have plenty of fire extinguishers, buckets of sand and water ready should something ignite by mistake. Designate someone to be responsible for contacting emergency services and if the display is provided by a professional, agree on responsibilities before the event.

Contact your local emergency services – This will keep them informed of your plans, and give them plenty of notice in advance.

Ensure your Council is compliant with applicable regulations such as the Fireworks Regulations 2004, the Explosive Regulations 2014 and any subsequent amendments. Under these regulations, the industry focus is not only on product safety but also on the reduction of accidents and injuries as well as regulating who can purchase and use fireworks.

Is your event insured?

It is important to confirm your event is properly insured and includes Public Liability cover, especially for injuries or damages that could occur as a result of fireworks. It is also your responsibility to check that external contractors have sufficient Public Liability insurance. If you host firework displays frequently, you may want to consider purchasing an annual policy.

For more information, call 0330 013 0036 or email enquiries@bhibcouncils.co.uk to speak to one of our dedicated Local Councils team.