Putting on a bonfire or fireworks display is not something to be taken lightly; it can be a fun night for all when done properly but it is essential that all safety precautions be taken seriously, and a risk assessment conducted. At local bonfire displays there will be big crowds of people likely attending, including a large number of children, meaning safety needs to be top priority.
In 2017/18 the NHS attended 4,436 firework related injuries. Most injuries that occur as a result of bonfires or fireworks are due to lack of safety precautions or unsafe firework handling. Therefore, it is essential that when hosting a bonfire, you know how to safely set off fireworks, control a bonfire and have control measures for preventing injuries.
It is essential that before holding a firework display or bonfire that you conduct a fully comprehensive risk assessment. Conducting a full risk assessment prior to a fireworks display will involve identifying the fire hazards such as faulty fireworks, mishandling of sparklers, flames and things nearby which can potentially catch fire. It is also important to identify people at risk such as those handing the bonfire and fireworks as well as those attending. Once you have evaluated the risks ensure that you take all necessary steps to reduce or remove them. This will include informing people of the measures put in place to ensure safety and make sure you review your precautions to ensure they are working.
It is essential to have guard barriers at a bonfire event to ensure that spectators are kept away from the bonfire and fireworks display area. Having guard barriers will help reduce the risk of injury and can also be used to create pedestrian paths which keep them safe from vehicles and make entrance and exit from the event run smoothly.
Lighting and Power
At large scale outdoor events such as bonfires, lighting hire is required in areas such as car parks to ensure people can safely get back to their vehicles and that trip hazards are reduced. At events such as bonfires it is important that for lighting and other outdoor amenities you have enough power. Generator hire is essential to keep the event running smoothly, as power shortages would be detrimental to the success of the event.
Bonfire Set Up
There are a few precautions to keep in mind when planning where to set up your bonfire. Make sure to check for any wildlife near the bonfire site as you don’t want to harm them or scare them. This will be more likely if the bonfire site is close to woodlands. It is also important to ensure that your bonfire is set up away from things which can easily catch fire such as trees.
It is important to have control measures in place in case the bonfire gets out of hand or there are injuries. Make sure to have water or a hose to hand in case the bonfire gets out of control; being ready to tend to the bonfire as required is essential to keep it under control. It is also important to have a first aider on site, as required by the number of people attending, to tend to any accidents which could occur; for serious injuries make sure to immediately call the emergency services.
Back to articles