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Open air events

For any outdoor event, festival, mass gathering etc. to run safely, it is essential that there is suitable and sufficient pre-planning on behalf of all stakeholders involved. This should result in the production of an Event Management Plan.

As an event organiser, you must conduct a fire safety risk assessment, as you are responsible for taking steps to protect people attending your event (premises) from the risk of fire. This includes employees, contractors, volunteers, the visiting public or any other person who has a legal right to be there.

Some of the areas you should consider in your risk assessment are (this list is not exhaustive and in no particular order):

To assist you with this process, the National Fire Chiefs Council has developed a number of guidance documents and templates to enable a consistent approach to information giving, gathering, planning and recording.

These can be viewed and downloaded from www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Event-safety and include an event organisers’ checklist, advice for semi-permanent tented structures, and fire safety risk assessment templates for food concessions, traders and temporary structures.

These templates have been produced primarily for use by small and medium sized food concessions, traders and market stall holders to help them fulfil their obligations under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Provision of these templates does not preclude the use of other risk assessment tools in order to provide a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. In addition, they may not be suitable for larger scale structures or operations which may require a more detailed risk assessment to be undertaken.

The responsibility for producing a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment rests with the ‘responsible person’ as defined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and the National Fire Chiefs Council accept no responsibility for the suitability of any completed risk assessments produced using these templates.

The information above is primarily intended for organisers, employers, managers and owners of premises providing open air events, such as: country fairs or similar events, carnivals, street festivals, fairgrounds, music concerts and festivals, balloon festivals, car boot sales, religious festivals, and other similar events.

It may also be useful to those responsible for theme parks, zoos, sporting events, race meetings, or other similar events or venues.

Sports stadia or regulated sports grounds, permanent buildings or structures, large temporary structures and air-supported structures are not covered by this guidance; if your event or venue includes the use of such premises, you should refer to the appropriate Government fire safety guides.

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