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Organising a firework display

​Health and safety legislation

Organisers of public, or semi-public displays, should be aware of the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989, which places a responsibility on them to ensure the safety of both employees and members of the public.

Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 on Jersey Law website

Who should I contact about my firework display?

Although you are not obliged to do so, it would be very helpful if you could contact the Fire and Rescue Service to let them know your plans for the firework display, and to provide emergency contact telephone numbers for the people in charge.

Firework display safety checklist

You and your team will need to:

  • organise the safe delivery and storage of the fireworks
  • warn neighbours so that they can keep pets indoors
  • borrow or hire special clothing, like fluorescent jackets, to identify you and your team on the night
  • get a public address system (a loud hailer will do as a minimum) to give any instructions, eg to evacuate the area in an emergency
  • arrange for fire extinguishers, metal litter bins and buckets of water and sand to be available on the night
  • make up all necessary signs
  • make sure you have enough people to help on the night, including some extra people to cover anyone who falls ill
  • check whether your insurance covers any firework-related injuries – look for a company that’s used to insuring public events

Pick a suitable location

Choose a large, clear, well-mown area away from buildings, trees and hazards such as overhead cables.

As a minimum you’ll need:

  • an area of at least 50 metres by 20 metres in which to let off the fireworks
  • an area of 100 metres by 50 metres behind this, in the downwind direction, for the ‘dropping zone’ (where the fireworks land) – check the weather forecast beforehand
  • a distance of 25 metres from the firing area on the opposite side to the dropping zone for the spectators

You should consider cancelling the display in very windy weather.

Make sure you have as many safe, well-lit and signposted exits and entrances as possible.  These must be away from the firing and dropping zones.

Keep the car parking area well away from your display and the dropping zone.  It should be signposted clearly and have a separate entrance from the pedestrian access.

Keeping control of the crowd

Proper crowd control is essential to prevent accidents.  You will need to:

  • have one steward for every 250 spectators
  • make sure your stewards know what to do in an emergency
  • keep spectators out of the display and dropping zones
  • beware of overcrowding and follow police advice

After the event

When the event is over, make sure you have plenty of people to help:

  • clear spectators away from the site
  • put the bonfire out completely, if you have one
  • gather the spent firework cases with suitable tools, like tongs – wear strong gloves and don’t let children help

If any fireworks look as if they haven’t gone off, soak them in water for at least half an hour.  If necessary, call the Fire and Rescue Service for advice.

Download display organisers information booklet (size 134kb)

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