Fireworks Insurance

Planning a Firework Display?

irework displays should be enjoyable and spectacular occasions – but they obviously need some responsible planning. The good news is that there is straightforward guidance to help you.  The Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) has a range of advice available to first time organisers.  As event insurance experts who provide simple Firework Insurance Cover, WorldWide Special Risks have summarised some of these key considerations when planning a firework display.

If you are organising a major public event, you will clearly need a robust and detailed approach to planning as well as professional involvement. If you are holding a local firework display, such as those organised by many sports clubs, schools or parish councils, you still need to plan responsibly, but the same level of detail is not necessary or expected. Below are some HSE tips and guidance to help you.

Before the event:

Who will operate the fireworks? There is no reason why you should not light a display yourselves provided it only contains fireworks in categories 1, 2 and 3. It is important to remember only professional firework display operators may use Category 4 fireworks.

Consider whether the site is suitable and large enough for your display, including a bonfire if you are having one. Is there space for the fireworks to land well away from spectators and nearby buildings?

Remember to check in daylight for overhead power lines and other obstructions. What direction is the wind blowing, what if it changed?

Have a plan in place in case things go wrong. Give one or two people the responsibility for calling the emergency services.

Ensure that you purchase fireworks from a reputable supplier.

If the display is to be provided by a professional firework display operator make sure that you are clear on who does what especially in the event of an emergency.

Ensure you have a suitable place to store the fireworks. Your firework supplier or local authority should be able to advise you.

If you plan on selling alcohol the bar should be well away from the display site.

On the day of the event:

Recheck the site, weather conditions and wind direction.

Don’t let anyone into the zone where the fireworks will fall – or let anyone other than the display operator or firing team into the firing zone or the safety zone around it.

Discourage spectators from bringing drink onto the site.

Don’t let spectators bring their own fireworks onto the site.

If you will also have a bonfire at the display then you should:

Check the structure is sound and does not have small children or animals inside it before lighting it.

Not use petrol or paraffin to light the fire.

Have only one person responsible for lighting the fire. That person, and any helpers, should wear suitable clothing e.g. a substantial outer garment made of wool or other low-flammable material.

Make sure that the person lighting the fire and any helpers know what to do in the event of a burn injury or clothing catching fire.

Never attempt to relight fireworks. Keep well clear of fireworks that have failed to go off

The morning after:

Carefully check and clear the site. Dispose of fireworks safely. They should never be burnt in a confined space (e.g. a boiler).

Additional points to consider if you are organising a major public display.

For major displays, particularly those involving category 4 ‘professional’ fireworks or very large number of spectators, a more robust approach is obviously needed.

Plan and mark out the areas for spectators, firing fireworks (and a safety zone around it) as well as an area where the fireworks will fall

Think about how people will get into and out of the site. Keep pedestrian and vehicle routes apart if possible. Mark exit routes clearly and ensure they are well lit. Ensure emergency vehicles can get access to the site

Appoint enough stewards/marshals. Make sure they understand what they are to do on the night and what they should do in the event of an emergency

Contact the emergency services and local authority. If your site is near an airport you may need to contact them

Signpost the first aid facilities

Firework Display Insurance

Although it is not required by health and safety law, if you are holding a public firework display, it’s a good idea to have public liability insurance.

Not all companies are used to dealing with this type of event.  WorldWide Special Risks have a bespoke Firework Display Insurance package that is designed for fireworks displays.

Firework Display Insurance – Key Benefits:

  • A choice of £1m, £2m, £5m or £10m Public Liability Fireworks insurance cover
  • A wide range of Attendance Levels from 100 to 10,000 spectators
  • Optional Cancellation insurance cover including Adverse Weather Insurance in case your event is cancelled or postponed.

For more information on organising a firework display and firework display insurance go to our firework insurance section or call an adviser on 01727 843686.

WorldWide Special Risks is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Conduct in the United Kingdom.