Firework safety tips
Bonfire Night and the general firework season usually see a spike in insurance claims. This is either from accidents, or malicious persons taking advantage of the darkness and the availability of fireworks.
This year, however, the more traditional fireworks events, with parties, crowds of people gathering together around a bonfire, or joining your local sports club for a fireworks display, are unlikely to be taking place. This doesn’t mean that the fireworks season is cancelled, though. So we have come up 10 firework safety tips to help you minimise the risks, which are helpful for any time of the year, particularly in the winter months:
- Make sure you do not let combustible materials build up around your property – this can include rubbish bins and dry vegetation. Be aware that some insurance policies have rules regarding this.
- Ensure your doors and windows are locked when you are out of the building, this includes windows that might be accessible via flat roofs or vegetation. Many insurance policies specify a minimum level of security required.
- Consider installing security lights outside your property and lights on timer switches inside.
- Fireworks through letterboxes can be devastating so think about special letterbox containers and moving flammable materials away from inside your door.
- Animals can find fireworks terrifying and can injure themselves or cause damage in their panic so make sure they are secure and checked on.
- If you are holding a firework event of your own then you should carry out a risk assessment and ensure that all those involved fully understand their responsibilities and safety measures. Remember to adhere to the latest government Coronavirus guidelines for your area.
- Be aware that many insurance policies held by businesses & sports clubs specifically exclude cover for firework parties, so you may need additional, bespoke, insurance. However, at the time of writing, mass gatherings such as fireworks parties, are not allowed by the current Coronavirus guidelines. But worth bearing in mind when larger-scale celebrations are allowed!
- Check that your smoke detectors are still working: Domestic detectors need their batteries testing & replacing regularly and commercial systems should be maintained at least annually.
- If you own a business, it is a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment. The same may be the case if you are commercial landlord or a residential landlord of a multiple occupancy property.
- Once public or ticketed events are back on the agenda, part of your planning should include getting event cancellation insurance: this means you are covered should events outside your control, such as torrential rain or strong winds, mean you have to cancel.
Doug Kaye, account executive, Mann Broadbent added: “Bonfire night should be a fun time of year and although big parties are a no-go for now, a few simple steps will help keep you and your property safe and ready for when the restrictions are lifted.”
For more information on risk management or to discuss what insurance cover you or your club might need, just give us a call on 01905 612336 or get in touch.