Fireworks

Includes: fireworks, sparklers, bonfire night Outdoors, Nature and the great outdoors

Age:
5+
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Marvel at a fireworks display

Fireworks can be truly impressive and girls and young women of all ages can enjoy watching the lights explode across the sky.

Overview

Fireworks are popular at events and celebrations. As they can be unpredictable and dangerous, it is recommended that guiding groups attend organised displays rather than organise their own.

If you do wish to organise your own display, please follow the regulations on the planning and safety tab.

Approved: 5 May 2021
Version: 1.0
Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity, follow these extra steps.

In your unit meeting place

  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed. Make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose. Check the equipment is suitably insured and confirm what would happen if there was any damage. 
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification, if one is needed, to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.

At an external venue

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know about any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your commissioner.
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification (if one is needed) to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
  • Get any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.
  • Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

The Girlguiding Public Liability insurance covers members of Girlguiding organising fireworks themselves, but does not cover anyone else doing so. If hiring a professional fireworks operator, they must have their own liability insurance that will cover injury to third parties. You should request a copy of this. The Girlguiding Personal Accident policy covers members, recognised volunteers and anyone who has been asked to help at a guiding event.

If you decide to organise your own fireworks:

  • Follow the Heath and Safety Executive (HSE) advice on organising firework displays.
  • Follow the instructions on the fireworks carefully.
  • Ensure that fireworks comply with British Standards or are CE marked. 
  • Ensure that fireworks state the setting they are made for (indoor, garden or display) and are used in the right setting.
  • Inform the police, fire brigade and any neighbours of the activity.
  • One or two designated adults must be in control of the fireworks. No children must be allowed inside the designated fireworks area.
  • Ensure appropriate fire fighting equipment is available.

Sparklers

Sparklers are a common cause of injuries. For this reason, the use of sparklers at guiding events is strongly discouraged, especially for younger girls.

If you do decide to give sparklers to young members:

  • Explain the potential danger to girls.
  • Ensure users stand far enough apart so they cannot accidentally cause injury to each other.
  • Ensure they wear gloves.
  • Have a bucket of water ready to extinguish the sparklers, and in case of burns.

If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity, follow these extra steps.

In your unit meeting place

  • Check the guidance for having an external visitor at your unit.
  • Inform the external qualified adult of the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity that isn't being provided by the external qualified adult, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check any equipment you source or borrow is suitably insured and confirm what would happen if there was damage to the equipment. 

At an external venue

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your local commissioner.
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Get copies of the instructor qualifications and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group.
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

Activity ratios

The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, physical ability or other factors.

Leadership team ratio

As this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place the leadership team adult to child ratio is mandatory.

  • Rainbows: 1:5, at least 2 adults
  • Brownies: 1:8 
  • Guides: 1:12 
  • Rangers: N/A – with leader permission

If organising an event with fireworks

For crowd control at large events, at least one designated steward is required for every 250 spectators and you need at least two stewards in total.

Forms

  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities