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fire hazard

The subject of fire hazards and fire safety management at exhibitions, conferences and any event, is probably the area of highest risk level to any event. The combination of enclosed space, large numbers of people and fire, even a small one is quite frightenting and the consequences are monumental.

Fire prevention and dealing with the consequences of an outbreak of fire are a prime consideration for any workplace and events are no different. Do not leave it to the venue to worry about. Whilst they do have responsibilities, those of the organiser are also the key to ensuring fire safety. Many venues now are inherently fire retardent but that is not always the case, especially with older buildings. It is the organiser who brings in flammable materials and sets up electrical power to / for the event infrastructure. Those two elements amount to bringin in fuel and sources of ignition.

The management of fire safety starts at event planning time. Here is the organisers' opportunity to create a control of what is going to happen. For example, planning to make sure that flammables are stored properly, away from ignition sources. Any electrics should be properly installed, by competent people. All electrical devices should be safe to use. Sockets should not be overloaded. Materials used in construction should be fire retardent and be certificated as such. 

If you are likely to have naked flames, gas or other fuels (for instance a cooking demonstration), seek advice before committing to any arrangements with exhibitors. It may be that the venue will not allow this or may want very specific arrangements in place beforehand.

There are several H.M. Govt. guides on fire safety at events and places of assembly and they are free to download. If you obtain the support of professional advice, the level you are looking for, regardless of their background, the qualification starting point should be Level 3 Certificate in Fire Safety Management and Risk Assessment (or equivilant) , by suitable qualifying bodies such as NEBOSH. 

Make sure that you protect your site out of hours too. It is not unknown for people to maliciously start fires. Make sure that your waste is stored well away from your event so that if it catches fire, it will not cause you any problems.

 This advice really is the 'tip of the iceberg'. If you are not competent in fire safety management and risk assessment, we strongly recommend either 'up-skilling' or having some help from time to time. 


 For more details, we recommend having a good read at the g-Guide for exhibitions and conferenes and have it at hand to refer to. Occasionally you will need to follow the advice within the document to other sources such as legislation and approved codes of practice such as HM Govt. fire safety guides.


For further advice for on fire safety management and risk assessment or for training from The Safety Organisation our contact details are at the top right corner of all pages of our web site.

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