Step-by-step: fireworks display
A bonfire and fireworks event promises a big audience
and big returns. This guide aims to make sure your night goes off
with a bang!
A PTA bonfire and firework event can make a spectacular family
fundraiser, but having the support of the school is essential.
Offer them the reassurance they need by making sure that your event
adheres to all health and safety requirements, and by having a team
in place to thoroughly clear the field the next day.
Review your insurance cover and contact your current provider to
address any stipulations.
Ensure you have enough space. Both the bonfire and fireworks
display should be a minimum of 100 metres from any third party
buildings (this includes the school). Spectators need to be at
least 25 metres from the firework area. More details on 'Organising
a Firework Display', can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Decide whether to use a third party firework display company.
Check with your school what level of public liability insurance
they need and ask to see a copy.
If running the event yourself, only use fireworks supplied by a
reputable manufacturer and adhere to all instructions. You will
need to appoint a fully-trained health and safety officer.
Specify that no sparklers are to be brought on site.
Consult with the police and fire brigade authorities at least
seven days before the event.
You will need qualified first aiders on site. Enlist the support
of St John Ambulance. Let them know how many people you expect to
attend - they will provide the required number of first aiders.
You are required to have one steward for every 250
You will need to complete a risk assessment - your Local
Authority can provide guidance.
Inform neighbours to ensure that pets are kept safely
What you'll need
Ask families and businesses to donate wood* for the bonfire.
As a minimum, provide your medics, lead steward, gate security
and firework provider with two-way radios.
Have a PA system or loud speaker in case safety instructions
need to be given.
All stewards should be wearing high-visibility jackets and have
You'll also need safety items such as fire extinguishers, site
lighting and barricade fencing.
*NOTE: Please be aware that pallets or
other wood that has been marked/branded with the letters MB should
not be burned, as it has been treated with Methyl Bromide, which when
burnt, releases toxic smoke dangerous to you and the
Costs and profits
Sell tickets in advance and adopt a ticket-only policy on the
gate. Keep queues to a minimum on the night by having printed
wristbands as tickets - ask guests to wear them on arrival.
Research the cost of other displays in your area and price tickets
accordingly, ensuring you cover your costs.
Have stalls selling glow sticks and include a BBQ. Tea, coffee,
beer and mulled wine will all be welcome, but a licence is required
if selling alcohol - read
our FAQs feature on TENs for more details
- You'll need around 10-15 stewards and many more volunteers to
staff the gate and to run stalls.
Publicising the event
Publicise the event well in advance around the school as well as
in local shops, libraries community centres, etc.
Issue a media release to local papers and radio stations.
For more information
There are several issues to consider relating to insurance,
licences, etc. See our Event Planning
Checklist for more detail.
For our at-a-glance guide to Temporary Event Notices, click here
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on
the guidance provided.
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