Health and Safety Advice on Fireworks and Bonfires
ORGANISING BONFIRES AND FIREWORKS DISPLAYS
Fireworks should be enjoyable and spectacular occasions. However each year, hundreds of people are injured through the misuse of fireworks causing injuries to hands, eyes and face. Good planning is essential for firework displays of any size. If you are thinking of a public fireworks / bonfire display you need to consider careful planning.
For an organised public event at clubs, schools, pubs etc. you will be expected to have an Event Management Plan
You should consider putting in place an ‘event team'. Keep good records of your planning process. Have clear instructions and communications in place. Any risk assessments need to be clear and included as part of any planning.
Use the Event Management Plan to plan and record the planning process.
What do you need to think about?
Organisers should consider the health and safety of those involved in the events, the spectators and others in the area. Also consider nuisance and environmental impacts that fireworks and bonfires can have.
Before the event
You need to tell the following people about your event in advance:
- Fire service
- Police Ambulance service
- Local hospitals and care homes that may be affected by noise or smoke
- Neighbours: the elderly, children and pets may be affected
PLANNING A PUBLIC FIREWORKS DISPLAY OR BONFIRE
- on a site with good access for emergency service vehicles
- a safe distance away from buildings and trees
- clear of overhead obstructions, such as power cables
- well-constructed – especially if on sloping ground
- free of foam furniture, rubber aerosols, gas cylinders, tires, bottles
- free from accelerants such as petrol or paraffin
- free of light ash producing materials that could blow about, for example corrugated cardboard, paper
- think about prevailing winds and the bonfire site
- Neighbour's properties and fencing
Have you got the following equipment available and checked:
- hose pipe of suitable length and/or water buckets or water extinguishers
- metal buckets with sand for spent sparklers fire blankets in bonfire display areas
- first aiders / first aid kits
Controls during the bonfire
- check the bonfire for hidden children and animals before you light it
- check no accelerants are onsite
- nominate one person who is responsible for lighting the bonfire
- designate safety officers to be in charge during the bonfire and fireworks
- have a named chief marshal available at the event in case of a site visit
Safety officers should be:
- familiar with display fireworks and lighting requirements
- easily identifiable and suitably clothed (outer garments and boots) t
- rained and familiar with the safety guidance
- know how to treat a burn injury familiar with
- how to contact the emergency services
After the bonfire
After the bonfire, you should:
- ensure bonfire is safe and damp it down if necessary
- collect spent fireworks and sparklers and dispose of them safely
- collect and remove any litter and rubbish'
Further information: ·
- Bonfire Night Safety Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Consider the following:
- adequate viewing,
- display and fall-out areas relative to the size of the display
- an area for safe storage of fireworks
- fenced, taped or roped safety area relative to the size of the display and type
- enough safety officers have been identified in case some are absent on the night
- the site access for emergency service vehicles is not blocked
- your public liability insurance is up to date and available
- your insurance policy covers this type of event (both fireworks and bonfires)
- your insurance policy requires you to notify the fire service
- Information pack – by South Staffordshire Council, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards on holding a safe bonfire and firework display.
- Advice from the Health and Safety Executive: Organising firework displays
- Firework Safety : RoSPA Safer Fireworks Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
- A community guide to organising bonfires and fireworks
Use the Event Management Plan to plan and record the event planning
If you want to hold an event, you may need to apply for a TEMPORARY EVENT NOTICE from our licensing team at least 10 working days in advance of a planned event.
Food & Safety Team
Telephone: 01902 696220