With Guy Fawkes night approaching on 5th November, lots of fireworks, beautiful displays and bonfire fun are expected to be had. When it comes to fire, it can easily become dangerous so we’ve compiled some top tips for a safe bonfire night to help you and your guests enjoy the fireworks.
At private and commercial displays, sparklers caused more injuries than air-bombs, bangers, rockets and roman candles combined. Half of all firework accidents happen to children under the age of sixteen. Today parents are more aware than ever of the risk of fireworks and many will seek organised displays to entertain their families, perhaps like the one you are contemplating.
Implications for Clients:
The majority of accidents happen at private parties. Organised displays will be safer than having a party of your own. An organised display means you are "contracting the services of another" and these firework specialist people are at "work" while they organise and then carry out your display. If something goes wrong resulting in an injury, it will be your good name & reputation, which will be blamed in the media so some prior planning is prudent.
A risk assessment will need to be conducted by the firework display professionals for the intended site.
Due to the powerful nature of the type of fireworks used for display purposes, specific focus needs to be placed on crowd control and the use of exclusion barriers. Arrangements also need to be made for management of first aid and action to be taken in the event of an evacuation. These issues need to be addressed with the competent person/s responsible for managing the event.
Be Prepared - Other key points to consider depending on the size of the intended display include:
- Liaison with the authorities, fire & police (check with own insurers)
- Check whether you are adequately insured to cover any firework-related injuries to those present at the display.
- Storage of fireworks must be secure prior to the display
- Emergency drill should something go wrong
- Means and methods of outside communication in the dark (torches, radios, jackets, etc)
- Arrange for fire extinguishers, buckets of water, buckets of sand and metal litter bins to be made available on the night.
- Review marshalling and first aid cover
- Lighting for pathways and steps (slips, trips, falls)
- Car parking & pedestrian access routes (Use of Marshall’s)
- Publicise that spectators will not be allowed to bring their own fireworks
- Crowd control, plan for bad weather.
- Bonfire planning, building-ignition-removal of ash.
- Completion of a written risk assessmentThe above are just some of the actions to be taken to ensure you have a safe and profitable event, but are by no means exhaustive. Please call the CSC Helpline if you have any queries or would like more information.