10 top tips for a safer Bonfire Night
Bonfire night and the days surrounding it see a spike in insurance claims, caused either by accidents or malicious persons taking advantage of the darkness, people being at parties and the availability of fireworks. Therefore we have come up with some advice to minimise the risks.
- Make sure you do not let combustible materials build up around your property – this can include rubbish bins and dry vegetation. Be aware that some insurance policies have rules regarding this.
- Ensure your doors and windows are locked when you are out of the building, this includes windows which might be accessible via flat roofs or vegetation. Many insurance policies specify a minimum level of security required.
- Consider installing security lights outside your property and lights on timer switches inside.
- Fireworks through letterboxes can be devastating so think about special letterbox containers and moving flammable materials away from inside your door.
- Animals can find fireworks terrifying and can injure themselves or cause damage in their panic so make sure they are secure and checked on.
- If you are holding a firework event of your own make sure you carry out a risk assessment and that all those involved fully understand their responsibilities and safety measures.
- Be aware that many insurance policies held by businesses & clubs specifically exclude cover for firework parties so you may need additional insurance. If you are using outside companies to provide the fireworks, entertainment, catering, etc. make sure they also have the correct insurance.
- Check that your smoke detectors are still working. Domestic detectors need their batteries testing & replacing regularly and commercial systems should be maintained at least annually.
- Keep an eye on the weather: if your event is open to the public or ticketed then consider event cancellation insurance just in case events outside your control, such as torrential rain or strong winds, mean you have to cancel.
- If you own a business it is a legal requirement to carry out a fire risk assessment. The same may be the case if you are commercial landlord or a residential landlord of a multiple occupancy property.
Duncan Sutcliffe, director, Sutcliffe & Co concluded: “Bonfire night should be a fun time of year and a few simple steps will ensure that it is memorable for only the right reasons.”
For more information on risk management or to discuss what insurance cover you might need, just give us a call on 01905 21681 or get in touch