Bonfire and firework display safety

20 October 2021

Public firework displays are enjoyable and spectacular events. However, organisers need to ensure that they are safe occasions too.

Holding a sparkler

In many instances, there is no reason why you should not put on a display yourself as long as the fireworks involved are not special category ones (referred to as F4). However, for larger displays or those involving more sophisticated pyrotechnics, it’s worth considering using the services of a professional firework display operator.

Depending on what you have in mind, you will need to:

  • Start planning as early as possible
  • Decide who will be responsible for setting off the fireworks and if there will be a bonfire
  • Check that the site will be large and safe enough
  • Identify those you may need to contact, for example, the police, the fire service as well as others
  • Determine appropriate site facilities such as access routes, physical barriers, firefighting facilities, stewards etc.
  • Decide on any precautions necessary when storing or setting the fireworks off and lighting the bonfire
  • Draw up an emergency/contingency plan
  • Make adequate arrangements for clearing up.

In some cases, you may need to:

  • Complete risk assessments to identify the precautions you need to take
  • Implement those precautions, providing information and training for any employees and volunteers on what they need to do
  • Document your arrangements and responsibilities for hosting events, perhaps as part of your health and safety policy.
Read more about managing the risk from bonfires and firework displays.