For small-scale displays in back gardens and local communities, you don’t usually need to complete a detailed health and safety risk assessment or event management plan. All it takes is some background reading on how to use fireworks safely and some planning into safety on the site.
However, for large-scale public events where you’re expecting thousands or even tens of thousands of people to attend, you need to do some serious planning. An event organiser is responsibly for the safety of everyone in attendance, and there’s also plenty to do to ensure the display comes off smoothly and really wows those crowds. Here’s a handy set of pointers to help you start your event management plan:
- Call in a specialist. Once your event reaches a certain size or scale, you’re going to need specialist help. This is especially important if you plan to use fireworks in a category that can only legally be fired by professionals. A specialist display organiser such as 1st Galaxy can use their expert knowledge to plan, advise and run the display for you on the day. This means it is guaranteed safe – in everything from use of fireworks to site layout – and also guaranteed to have the wow factor you’re looking for.
- Engage the local authority. Contacting the local council with details of your plans should be one of the first things you do. The local authority must be informed and they may also require details of your full event management plan, insurance and risk assessments – especially if the display is taking place on council land.
- Conduct a health and safety risk assessment. This must be very detailed, including details of every possible hazard to health and safety and how you will minimise or eliminate the risk. You also need to include a fire evacuation plan, details of access points and capacity limits on the site, and a plan for emergency situations.
- Site planning, including access and safe firing, fallout and spectator zones. At an early stage in your planning, you should produce detailed site maps showing which areas will be for firing, fallout (where the fireworks will drop) and spectators. Plus, where fireworks will be stored and all access points. You need to make sure that everything is a safe distance apart.
- Look into road closures, security and interaction with emergency services. You may not need to close roads or employ security services, but these are definitely things you should think about. You will need to work with local police and fire services if your event is a large public display though.
- Monitor the weather. Fireworks can be affected by the wind, as can any gazebos, food stands or other structures on your site. Include a bad weather policy in your plans to prepare for any weather-related problems.
This may all sound like a lot of work, but it is your responsibility as an event organiser. And when you see the first spectacular pyrotechnic shoot into the sky and the reaction of the crowd, it’ll all be worth it!
Please don’t hesitate to contact 1st Galaxy Fireworks if you need our help at any stage of your planning.