The time is nearly upon us to crook our necks and stare up into the night sky exclaiming enthusiastically 'Oooooooo' & 'Ahhhhhhh' as we watch bright lights and colour and transform the November sky.
Since the 1600’s, when Guy Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives planted underneath the House of Lords, Bonfire Night has been a truly British tradition. Following this incident, people all over London began to build bonfires, lighting them in celebration that the assassination of King James I had been unsuccessful or perhaps (for some), in honour of Guy Fawkes' intention! Either way, since then, this tradition has evolved throughout England and beyond with Firework displays, celebrations and bonfires marking this significant day.
Organising your own Firework display
Whether it's a large community event or a small gathering, when it comes to organising your own Firework night, ensuring the safety of your spectators is paramount.
Following official DTI Regulations and guidelines can ensure that the event is carried out in the safest way possible. Without adhering to these regulations, the local authorities or land owner (if not your own) may not allow the event to take place and/or it could invalidate your insurance policy.
Here's a few safety points to consider when organising a community fireworks nights.
With larger events, notify local authorities such as the Fire Brigade, Police and Ambulance services. It's a busy time of year but if you give them enough notice prior to your event, they should be able to assist & help the best they can.
Employ the services of a group of stewards to be responsible for crowd control, assigning at least one steward per 250 spectators. From start to finish the stewards need to ensure each spectator is kept safe. It also gives the spectator a point of contact should a problem arise so make sure they are visible wearing high visibility clothing.
Be certain that your team know what to do in an emergency and have practised safety drills.
In some cases, it may be suitable to have somebody to be responsible for first aid on the day of your event. For larger events, you could an experienced first aid and event medical company to provide you event first aid cover. Providing a range of event medical staff capable of managing a wide range on injuries should they occur.
Allow at least 50m x 20m for your firing area, beyond this you will need a dropping zone for spent fireworks of 100m x 50m in the downwind direction. Spectators should be kept back on the opposite side from the dropping zone at least 25m from the firing zone.
Don't take any chances
Each and every event is different, but needing an insurance policy is almost mandatory. In the days following Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night stories of accidents fill the newspapers, so it’s important that your event doesn't become a statistic.
Our firework specific policy offers cover to both the organiser of the event and those releasing the fireworks, (if the same person) automatically offering cover for a bonfire within the same policy. Like with any event and any insurance company, the premium will be determined by the amount of visitors attending and the level of Public Liability required but also, in the case of fireworks, who it is letting them off.
In the case that the entire fireworks event had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions (deemed too unsafe by the local authorities to take place) & without the option for postponement, any irrecoverable costs up to the sum insured & in connection with the event, would be covered.
These are just some of the things you may wish to think about in the lead up to your event.
For more information, please contact one of our underwriting assistants on 01425 484860.