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Organising firework displays

Firework 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.

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 tips and guidance to help you.

Before the event:

On the day of the event:

The morning after:

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.

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. Bear in mind that not all companies are used to dealing with this type of event, and as with any other type of insurance, it’s worth shopping around: look for a company that’s used to insuring firework and other public events – you are likely to get much better deal and avoid unsuitable terms and conditions. If you have difficulty with the standard insurance terms, TALK to your insurer and find a way forward; they can be very helpful.

Further guidance

An award-winning HSE guides are also available from HSE Books:

Updated 2012-05-23