Event fire safety
From music festivals to village fetes and sporting events, if you are organising a public event, or own the property where a public event is taking place, you have a legal duty to ensure the safety of the public.
Safety Advisory Groups
Each local council in Kent and Medway has a Safety Advisor Group (SAG). These groups are here to provide organisers with advice and to review plans for events. As well as fire safety and risk assessment, they will also consider other aspects of your event such as traffic management. You can find further information about your local SAG and how to contact them on the website of Kent County Council or on your local council’s website by searching ‘events’.
Fire safety at your event
Kent Fire and Rescue Service will review the fire safety arrangements for your event.
In order to hold a public event the appointed ‘responsible person’ (which may be the owner, organiser or a designated person) will be required to carry out a Fire Risk Assessment for the event. This assessment is to ensure that fire safety procedures, fire prevention measures and fire precautions (including plans, systems and equipment) are in place and working properly. The assessment should also identify any matters that require attention.
The type of fire risk assessment you will need to carry out will depend on your event. Guidance for carrying out the assessment can be found in the appropriate government guide. These guides can be accessed via dedicated pages on our website and include guidance for :
- Open air events and venues
- Large places of assembly
- Small and medium places of assembly
Depending your event, you may also need to be aware of the following:
- The Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 (which relates to places of sport where there is accommodation for spectators and the necessary safety controls)
- The Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 (which relates to safety certificates for sports grounds –further information is available from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority )
The event safety process
When organising an event, it is the responsibility of the event organiser or local authority through the safety advisory group (SAG) to consult with Kent Fire and Rescue Service as part of the event process.
There are five steps we recommend are followed when organising an event :
- The event organiser or local authority notifies Kent Fire and Rescue Service of an event through the safety advisory group (SAG), at least 16 weeks before the planned date of the event. For larger events, 12 to 18 months' notice may be required.
- Confirmation of receipt of 'Event notification' letter and other documentation will be sent to the event organiser and safety advisory group.
- Kent Fire and Rescue Service review the proposed fire safety measures and provide feedback which may include further fire safety measures required.
- The event organiser must implement the fire safety measures suggested.
- The event should take place safely and successfully.
You will also find helpful information, advice and guidance for organising a public event available from the:
- Health and Safety Executive – information ranging from getting started with organising an event to planning for incidents and emergencies.
- National Fire Chiefs Council – where you will find useful a set of best guidance documents to help you gather and provide the necessary information, recording and planning your event.