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Organised firework displays

Here is some straightforward guidance to help you have an enjoyable Firework display.


  • Set up a committee. One person should be in charge of safety arrangements.
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance to cover personal injury and damage.
  • Give details of the event to the Fire and Rescue Service.

  • Choose a clear, well-mown space not less than 18 metres (60 feet) from buildings, trees, wooden fences, overhead cables, car parking areas or other firework display.  Where there is less space, such as in a pub garden, the organiser should consult the Fire Authority. Allow at least 50m x 20m for your firing area and a dropping zone for spent fireworks of 100m x 25m back on the opposite side if the dropping zone.
  • The site needs a suitable entrance for emergency vehicles.  All entrances should be well lit and wide enough for spectators. You should also cater for disabled spectators.

Fire-fighting equipment

  • Water fire extinguisher.
  • A hose (if mains water supply is available.)
  • Buckets of water or sand.
  • Fire beaters.
  • Fire blanket.


The usual ratio is one steward to every 250 people present, but more stewards may be needed to cover each entrance and exit.  They may need special training, such as using the fire-fighting equipment.  They should also do the following:

  • Stewards should be over 18 years of age.
  • Fluorescent jackets make them easily identified.
  • They should know who is in charge of the event and have a means of contacting them, such as a two-way radio.
  • They should be aware of the telephones.
  • They remain until the event is over and ensure that the site is safe.
  • Committee members and stewards should all have torches, so check that you have plenty of batteries.
  • Use prearranged coded signals, audible throughout the site, to warn the stewards when an emergency has developed.

Crowd control

  • Do not allow spectators to bring their own fireworks, even sparklers. Have signs explaining this at the entrances.
Letting off fireworks
  • Involve as few people as possible. If possible use people with experience of letting off fireworks.

A firework display

A firework display


The HSE has useful guidance for anyone planning a firework display, click on the links below to view these documents:

Working together on firework displays leaflet


Giving your own firework display leaflet

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