Firework display safety

25th October, 2018

Firework displays should be enjoyed, but also require careful planning to ensure the safety of visitors and your staff. Below we have comprised a list of things you need to consider before hosting a firework display.

Before the event

Ensure you have notified local and emergency services, such as police and fire, as well as local authorities and residents, about your event

  • The venue:
    • Is it suitable?
    • Ensure you have at least 50x50m area for the fireworks to be lit safely and another 100 x 50 metres allocated downwind clear of trees, vegetation, property, people and any other obstructions such as power lines.
    • Clearly mark the display area, forbidden areas, the spectator area and all emergency exits.
    • Ensure pathways and walkways have suitable lighting
    • Carefully consider parking areas and ensure they are well lit
  • Have an emergency plan and ensure all staff know of it
  • Make sure the firework safety stewards, staff and responsible persons understand your rehearsed emergency procedures
  • Make sure you obtain the fireworks from a reputable supplier and store them safely
  • Ensure you have a license to sell alcohol if you wish to do so and ensure it is a good distance from the display areas.

On the day of the event

  • Category 4 fireworks can only be lit by professionals
  • Ensure all staff are wearing Hi Vis clothing
  • Make sure the First Aid area is easy to see and is accessible
  • If you are allowing sparklers, ensure they are in a dedicated area only and buckets of water is on hand
  • If you wish to have a bonfire:
    • Do not use petrol or any other flammable substances for lighting the fire
    • Only use firelighters
    • Ensure the fire is stable at all times and not too high or likely to fall
    • Make sure there are no fireworks or other flammable materials nearby
    • Have an extinguisher, water and sand nearby
  • Keep a close eye on the weather – wind direction will dictate where your display and spectator areas are
  • Do not let anybody into the zone where fireworks will be lit or will fall
  • Never attempt to relight fireworks.

After the event

  • Check the entire site
  • Safely dispose of fireworks


It is required by law to have Employers’ Liability Insurance if you employ staff, whether this is for marshals, firework professionals, health & safety advisors, security staff and more.

Although it is not a legal requirement, you should have Public Liability Insurance in place to protect your visitors should they suffer injury or illness.

Speak to Routen Chaplin if you are concerned about your firework display on 0115 973 4437 or email

Sources: HSE -

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