Public events can range from village fêtes and county shows to large concerts and major events for internationally acclaimed performers, sporting activities, etc. Whatever the venue the Fire Safety Strategy and the Emergency and Evacuation Plans play a vital role in managing the safety at the event.

The key piece of Legislation that applies to events is the Licensing Act 2003. It is very important that you familiarize yourself with the key points in this act as you have a legal duty to comply with this, whatever the size of your event.

Alongside the 2003 Licensing Act, all proposed events must conform to the following guidance and legislation

Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Fire Safety Risk Assessment: Open-air Events and Venues

The Purple Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Other Event 

NFCC Semi Permanent Tented Structures guidance

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 

Successful Health and Safety Management (HSG 65)

The Children’s Act 2004

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

Equality Act 2010​

Each local authority has a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to provide advice on event safety matters and to ensure that public safety is maintained.  A SAG considers all event-licensing requests and offers advice and guidance to all parties concerned.

Applications for a public event should be made via the relevant Local Authority.

Where members of the public are invited to participate in a staged and planned event, the Event Organiser and/or owner of the property or land where the event is staged has responsibility, or duty of care, for public safety before during and after the event, whatever the size.

Fire Sa​fety

Event Organisers are responsible for taking steps to protect people attending the event 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.

It is important to appreciate that fire is a very real risk in event environments and Event Organisers should recognise their statutory responsibilities to undertake a comprehensive Fire Risk Assessment and to put in place such controls as are necessary to mitigate against these risks.

Depending on the nature, size and complexity of the event, a Fire Risk Assessment may be carried out by the Event Organiser or a member of the events team, etc. providing they have the necessary skills, experience, knowledge and understanding.  Alternatively, it may be more appropriate to employ a fire safety specialist to carry out the Fire Risk Assessment. (See “A Guide to Choosing a Competent Fire Risk Assessor”.)

All events will need some form of Event Plan, the detail of which will depend upon the nature, size and impact of the event.  This Plan should be a live document which records the development of the event and records any important information (e.g. issues, agreements or amendments that may arise as the event progresses).

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. The National Fire Chief Council Event Safety Group has developed a suite of best guidance documentation and Fire Safety advice to enable a consistent approach to information giving, gathering, planning and recording.

These documents are intended to supplement, and be incorporated into, the event organiser’s Event Management Plan (EMP).

Event Or​​ganisers Chec​klist

This document has been produced to provide valuable and consistent information and guidance for new or inexperienced event organisers when planning for small to medium sized events and festivals. Equally it can be used as an aide memoire for the more experienced teams when planning for their events. It will help event organisers in the early stages of their event planning and has been developed in such a way that it can provide a consistent approach to information sharing/gathering between event management team and relevant regulatory bodies.

Fire Risk Assessment Templates 

Food Concessions – suitable for all mobile food stalls and caterers at events

Traders and Market Stalls – suitable for all mobile traders and market stalls

Temporary Structures – suitable for all temporary structures at an event, e.g. marquees, stages, etc.

Semi-permanent Tented Structures Providing Sleeping Accommodation​

The following advice is provided for site layout(s) and spacing where ‘Safari tents’ - ‘Yurts’ - ‘Geo-domes’ - ‘Super-tents’ and similar structures are used as a semi-permanent sleeping accommodation provision.  Along with additional fire safety arrangements and guidance, at sites which are licenced. This guidance also covers these types of accommodation units for festivals and the like, which are located away from the actual festival/event site and will provide a starting point for any fire risk assessment considerations.

The aim of this information is to simplify and standardise the spacing and layout requirements for existing and potential new locations for site licencing. Also, to clarify provisions within the tented structures to reduce fire risk and provide advice on the extent of fire detection and warning, because of the limited information in the public domain where no set criteria has been established