With almost 20 million people estimated to attend a private or public firework display in November, planning a successful Bonfire night that pulls in the punters over the competition can be difficult. In this blog we explore how to plan a safe and successful bonfire night. Need a quotation for your event insurance? Find your local Coversure office here today.
Planning Tips For Bonfire Night
At first planning any type of event can be daunting so the best thing you can do is to write a list of all of the things you need to do so you can tick them off as you go along.
First things first, you’ll need to decide if this is going to be a small family gathering in the back garden or a large event. For the rest of this blog we will assume that you will be planning a large event, though a lot of the advice still holds true for smaller events.
You’ll need to decide on your venue. You’ll need a large mown grassy field with little or no foliage and no overhead wires. If it’s been dry around your local area, make sure you have access to a lot of water should the worst come to worst and you need to put out an unplanned fire. Always alert your local authorities prior to a display so they are aware and are on hand should anything escalate.
If you have a group of organisers ensure that communication is clear and that everyone has a copy of the plan from start to finish. Fireworks should only be set off by professional fire-workers.
Checklist For A Successful Bonfire Night
As well as getting in contact with your local authorities you and your team members should:
- Buy your fireworks, wood for the bonfire, sand, metal bins and fire extinguishers in advance and arrange for them to be stored safely and securely until the event. You’ll also need to circulate the manufacturers handling instructions to your team.
- Training should compromise of the emergency drills, first aid, and safe firework handling.
- All first aid posts should be manned by fully qualified people. Think St. Johns ambulance volunteers and off-duty professional who have willingly volunteered their services. Make sure they wear high-vis jackets so they will be clearly visible on the night.
- Get yourselves a few megaphones for addressing the public masses and plenty of electric torches so people can be directed to the designated safe firework and bonfire viewing areas.
- Prepare all of the signs you need. You can even post them up in advance by a few weeks so you really optimise your advertising for your event.
- Your team should consist of enough people for the night and several more who don’t mind covering for other volunteers should someone be ill.
- Warn people who live nearby and farmers that you’ll be putting on the display so they can take measures to make sure their pets and livestock are kept safe during the evening.
- Allow at least 50×20m for your firework firing area and a further 100×50m for the dropping zone for the firework pieces in the downwind direction. Spectators should be kept well away from these zones.
- Make sure you have a designated car park and ensure that everyone sticks to it by providing traffic wardens.
- Last but certainly not least make sure you are insured with a public liability policy just in case any injuries happen on the evening.
That was just for the fireworks. It’s a lot to remember but ultimately it’ll be a 100% worth it once you’ve ran it. Now onto the bonfire tips and tricks:
- Keep the bonfire area separate to the firework display and the storage area. Don’t put any fireworks onto the fire.
- Never use fire-starting liquids like petrol or paraffin to start the bonfire off as this could later cause an explosion.
- Before starting the fire, make sure there are no animals, or humans for that matter, inside it.
- Don’t burn any dangerous rubbish on the fire such as aerosols and remove all rubbish from your bonfire area in advance so no-one can throw anything on it mid-flame.
End of Bonfire Night
Spectators will need to be safely cleared away from the site. Once everyone has been ushered away you can then burn all of the gathered spent cases in a safe controlled environment. If any fireworks look as though they haven’t gone off after at least half an hour, stick them in a large bucket of water and ask Fire and Rescue services for advice on what to do next.
Bonfire Liability Insurance
Firework displays are an incredibly risky business so it’s extremely important that you make sure that your public liability insurance covers you for the possibility of anything untoward happening.
With public liability cover, you can rest assured that if your event causes any injury or illness to a member of public or their belongings that you’ll be covered. For a quotation or advice, contact your local Coversure office by clicking here.