Electrical safety

What you will find on this page

Information to help organisers and others plan, use and manage electrical equipment at an event safely.

Your duties as an event organiser

Event organisers, contractors and others using electrical equipment must do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure that electrical installations and equipment at an event are properly selected, installed and maintained so as not to cause death or injury.

What you should know

The following guidance will be useful and should be read in conjunction with GS50, see resources.

Note: GS50 outlines the risks and your legal duties and general advice on managing electrical safety. It also gives more specific advice on ways to prevent electrical danger at fixed electrical installations.

Guidance: Planning and managing temporary electrical installations

Consider the following:

On the site

  • Layout (performance areas, traders, public areas, access routes etc)
  • Power requirements
  • Details of and access to any mains (utility) power supply
  • Location of any existing overhead power lines or buried cables
  • Environmental conditions
  • Electrical environment as defined in BS 7909
  • Emergency power requirements

At the event

  • Timetable of power requirements
  • Use of generators
  • Earthing
  • Routing of temporary overhead or underground cables
  • Main isolators controlling the electrical supplies to the stage lighting, sound, special effects, emergency lighting and lifting equipment
  • Special power supplies for some equipment, eg non-UK equipment, hoists, portable tools etc
  • Electrical requirements for emergency lighting and exit signs
  • Power supplies for catering equipment, first-aid points, incident control room, CCTV cameras etc
  • Power supplies for heating or air conditioning
  • Control and restriction of access to electrical installations by unauthorised people
  • Use and/or integration of renewable power sources such as solar cells or wind power and associated equipment such as inverters
  • Use of battery charged equipment (eg radio communication equipment for event staff)

Temporary installation

Where possible, locate the main electrical intakes and/or generator enclosures where they are accessible for normal operations or emergencies, but segregated from public areas of the venue. Display danger warning signs around the intake or enclosure.

To prevent danger, construct or protect electrical equipment that could be exposed to rain or other adverse conditions with suitable and sufficient covers, enclosures or shelters. As far as practicable, locate all electrical equipment so that members of the public or unauthorised workers cannot touch it.


Select and rate all cables to meet electrical safety standards and to withstand any unusual environmental or adverse weather conditions.

Route cables to minimise tripping hazards or potential mechanical damage, and in a position that allows them to be safely installed and removed. Give particular care to the position of cable connections.

You can also use cable ramps or similar to protect cables running overground across route ways to help avoid them becoming tripping hazards.

Running cables alongside existing or temporary fence lines is advisable and it is important to segregate vehicle traffic and cable routes wherever possible. If this can't be achieved, you can route the cable by a cable bridge, a supporting catenary or cable ramps.

If the cable is to be routed using a cable bridge or catenary, a height of not less than 5.8m is advisable to make sure that most vehicles can pass beneath it. Advisory notices, warning of the location of the overhead cables, should be clearly displayed in both directions. Use fences to segregate roadways from overhead cables running parallel to the roadway to prevent inadvertent contact.

If you need to run cables underground, ideally use cable ducts or pipe, suitably sized to accommodate connectors. Do not leave cable joints underground. Follow the further guidance on burying cable in BS 7671.

Find out more

Electricity in public places

Is this page useful?

Updated 2021-11-03