Planning your event
Planning Fire Safety for events should start at the earliest stages.
Event organisers will designate a Fire Officer (internal or external) to liaise with the Local Licensing Authority and Fire and Rescue Service, and plan the necessary Fire Safety arrangements, products and services.
For a larger event much of the information below will be required as part of the event licence application. The Fire and Rescue Service may require to see the Fire Risk Assessment and Fire Safety Plan.
Fire Risk Assessment
As with commercial buildings, a Fire Risk Assessment for the event and its associated structures is required by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The HMG publication "Fire Safety Risk Assessment - Open Air Events and Venues" is the official guide. A link to this can be found on our legislation page.
The starting point will be to establish the size and layout of the site, anticipated visitor numbers, and the number and position of emergency exits required. These are determined by industry standard flow-rates. Consideration will need to be given to emergency vehicle access onto and around the site.
Fire risks will need to be evaluated for the different areas of the site - for example performance stages, catering areas, generators, parking and camping zones.
Fire Safety Plan
The Fire Safety Plan is now written on the basis of the findings of the Fire Risk Assessment, together with a knowledge of good working practices within the events industry and an understanding of specific issues at the venue.
You will also need fire and emergency procedures that detail communication, roles and responsibilities in the event of a fire.
Your Fire Safety Policy should be sent to all traders and performers. They will be required to return the signed policy, agreeing to the terms and conditions imposed, along with method statements and a risk assessment identifying any potentially hazardous materials, equipment, or activities and the means to control those risks.
Fire equipment hire
You will need to hire fire extinguishers, and the positions for these should be marked on the site plan. Extinguisher stands might be needed to locate the extinguishers securely, and Fire Point signs may be added. Fire Alarms (rotary alarm bell or electronic alarm), Emergency Lighting luminaires and Fire exit signs should be added in temporary structures as necessary.
Assembly points and Emergency Vehicle Rendezvous Points will also be designated on the site plan.
Prior to the start of the event the Fire Officer should perform an inspection to ensure that all contractors, traders and performers are complying with the Fire Safety Policy. Regular inspections are carried out throughout the duration of the event.
Sufficient Safety Stewards will need to be trained to be vigilant during the event and to handle an evacuation should it be necessary. If required to fire-fight, they will need to be trained in the safe use of extinguishers. At larger events there may be a fire-fighting contractor or cover from the local fire brigade.
The set up and break down periods are often high risk times for fire safety and should be managed accordingly.
If you would like help with any aspect of Event Fire Safety, please contact us using the form on the left, or call us on 0800 018 4646.