Event Safety

A guide for Parish Council Event Organisers

Carrington Parish Council wants events to provide a safe and positive experience for residents and visitors. This guidance note covers a range of issues and provides advice and guidance to enable you to comply with law. Not all topics will be relevant to you, so simply consider the ones that do.


This guide has been produced to help the event planner planning a public event, to ensure it is not only successful but also safe.

If you organise an event whatever the size from a small fete to a large firework display you must look after the health, safety and welfare of anyone who may be affected by it.

The event organiser or committee is responsible for planning and managing the event and ensuring that all legislation is complied with.

As there are many types of events that take place the issues covered in this guide are general and they may not all apply to your event

If you require specialist health and safety or food advice or any further information on planning your event please contact the Clerk to arrange this.

You may also need to contact other organisations for advice such as the Fire Service, Police, and Trafford Council to register Highways closures. Contact addresses and details of relevant guidance to assist you in organising an event can be found at the end of this guide.

If you are selling alcohol or if you will be having music, dancing or other forms of entertainment you may require a licence from the Licensing Authority of Trafford Council. Should music be played at the event, then a General and Casual licence from PPL/PRS will need to be purchased. It is important that you allow plenty of time prior to the event to apply for a licence. (8 weeks for Trafford Council)

Food Safety

Registration of Food Businesses

If the Parish Council themselves are organising a one-off event such as a church or school fete, or a street party you will not be required to register with Trafford Council.

However if you hire an outside commercial caterer you must check they are registered. All businesses selling food must be registered with Trafford Council . This is where the equipment and foodstuffs are kept overnight.

All commercial food businesses providing food at any event must ensure the food they produce and sell to the public is safe to eat, as well as ensuring they comply with the requirements of the food hygiene legislation.There is an exception of one period of up to four hours after which the food should be disposed of or kept under refrigeration until sold within its safe shelf life.

Getting to the Event

All equipment used for transporting food should be made of smooth, non absorbent and cleansable materials and be maintained in a clean condition. This includes all vehicles used during transportation. Temperature control of high-risk foods must be maintained during transportation and this should be checked prior to leaving and on arrival at the event site.

Setting up the Stall

The entire stall, construction, fabric and surfaces should be made of cleansable materials, kept clean and maintained in good repair. The stall should be sited and facilities provided to protect food from contamination. Hazards associated with the weather such as hot weather, windy conditions and heavy rain can have a major impact on events. Please ensure you have undertaken an assessment of the risks associated with weather and plan accordingly. An example would be ensuring you have appropriate ballast for your stall.

Water Supply

A supply of clean and fresh cold water, stored in a sealed container, must be provided to enable effective sanitising

of equipment, surfaces and hand washing. The containers transporting the water must be kept clean at all times.

Hand Washing

Where any open food is being handled, hand wash basins with hot and cold or mixed water should be provided exclusively for hand washing and be easily accessible.

A bowl and a flask of hot water may be adequate but your Environmental Health Officer should clarify this, as it would depend on the scale of your operation. Water for hand washing should be replaced frequently to ensure it is clean. The facilities should be set up before food is handled to ensure effective hand washing is taking place.

The use of plastic gloves is only permitted if they are changed regularly and hands are washed in between. A supply of liquid, antibacterial soap and drying facilities should be available. Hand gel alone is not considered adequate to keep hands clean when handling any open food. Ideally open food should be handled with tongs or other utensils.

Food and Cold Drinks Preparation

All water used for food and cold drinks preparation on site, such as salad preparation, must be from a potable supply to reduce any risk of contamination. If you require a potable supply of water, please ensure you check with your event organiser in advance of the event or ensure you supply your own in sealed, clean containers.

All food preparation should be under- taken under cover to ensure any risks of physical contamination are minimised.

Food and Hand Contact Surfaces

Food preparation surfaces that come into contact with food or hands must be made of smooth, non-absorbent and cleansable materials. If you are using items such as trestle tables for preparation or display of food, please ensure these either have stainless steel surfaces or are covered by non-absorbent cleansable tablecloths.

Protective Clothing

Clean protective clothing should be worn if you are selling open foods. A clean apron would normally be adequate.

Cold Storage and Display

Food must be displayed and stored as directed by the manufacturer. All chilled high-risk foods must be kept at 8oC or below at all times. The temperature of chilled high-risk foods should be monitored to ensure that the temperature throughout the food is at 8oC or below. Cool boxes will need sufficient cool packs to ensure the food is kept at the correct temperature. Displaying food on ice is only satisfactory if you can prove or demonstrate that the temperature throughout the food being displayed is at 8oC or below.

There is an exception of one period of up to four hours after which the food should be disposed of or kept under refrigeration until sold within its safe shelf life.

General Food Display

When you plan your food display do consider how the public will be making purchases. Any displays of unwrapped sweets and baked foods such as bread, cakes and cookies, should be displayed behind food screens (also known as ‘sneeze’ guards) to reduce the risk of physical contamination to the foods.


When cooking foods you should ensure they are cooked thoroughly and served hot. This should be monitored by either using a calibrated temperature probe to a temperature above 75oC or by visual checks eg checking the centre of meat is not pink.

Please note that laser temperature probes only monitor the surface temperature of the food and are not suitable for monitoring the temperature of meats, rice, stews etc.

Hot Holding Food

Food being held hot should be kept above 63oC. This should be monitored regularly and accurately. Heated food that falls below 63oC must be consumed within two hours.

Tasters/Free Samples

Equipment used for the preparation, display and service of tasters must be used and maintained in a clean and hygienic manner. Tasters should be offered as individual portions to prevent contamination by the public e.g. use of cocktail sticks or individual containers.

It is good practice to use small amounts of food that are regularly topped up. Self-service arrangements should prevent contamination by direct handling via the use of disposable containers, utensils etc. Containers need to be washed regularly when there are a large number of users. High risk food samples should not be held at ambient temperature for longer than necessary (good practice is no longer than one hour).

Food Safety Management Systems

Traders preparing or cooking food for sale or selling temperature sensitive foods must have a food safety management system, for example, the relevant Safer Food Better Business pack, HACCP or NCASS Food Safety Management System.


If Parish Council members or volunteers helping at the event are selling or handling food, they need to do so safely; however food hygiene certificates are not a legal requirement.

However, commercial food businesses will be expected to demonstrate adequate knowledge of food safety practices relating to their operation.


During storage and display food should be protected from pests. This may necessitate the use of covers against flying insects and storage off the ground in solid sided containers to prevent crawling insects and vermin.


Bins with close fitting lids should be provided for the temporary storage of waste.


Barbeques (BBQ) and spit roasts must be sited to the rear or side of the stand on stable ground, with barriers to protect the public from burns and flames. The BBQ must be sited away from any flammable material. A fire risk assessment and suitable and sufficient fire safety equipment is essential.

There are generally two types of BBQ, charcoal or LPG. If LPG is used special consideration must be given to its use. See section on LPG below.

Reducing Cross Contamination During operation of a food stall one of the highest risks of cross contamination can come from the same person handling food and money. You should ensure that you have a person on the stall who is dedicated to handling money only to reduce this risk.

Allergen Information

All businesses are legally required to provide information to customers about the allergens in their food. Information must be provided about the 14 allergens listed, these are:-

Celery, Eggs, Milk, Nuts, Soya, Fish, Molluscs,Peanuts, Sulphites, Crustaceans, Lupin, Mustard, Sesame and Cereals containing Gluten

All allergen information must be clear and available to customers. Further information and examples of how you can provide this information are available on the FSA website at www.food.gov.uk/allergens

Health and Safety

This guidance aims to identify some of the key risks that should be considered to ensure everyone, whether it is your volunteers or visitors to the event are safe

Risk Assessment

It is essential that a risk assessment be completed for your event. Not only does it highlight any risks that could arise at the event but also it will identify where you may need to seek advice and information from other agencies such as the Fire Brigade, Police, Ambulance Service and the Local Authority.

It is important that you also obtain risk assessments from other persons attending your event e.g. exhibitors and vendors.

Stall holders have a legal responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all employees, volunteer helpers and to the public and visitors attending.

All traders must carry out a risk assessment prior to the event and arrival at the event location to ensure that they are taking adequate measures to ensure their stall is safe.

For most small events carrying out a risk assessment is a relatively straightforward process, however for large events you may need to seek specialist help.

What safety issues do I need to consider?

First Aid Kit

Each stall, stand or catering unit should be provided with a fully stocked first aid kit including bandages and waterproof dressings. Someone needs to take responsibility for taking charge of arrangements, for example in the event of an accident.

Accident Reporting

Please note certain types of accidents are notifiable and must be reported to the local Environmental Services Department.

  • Examples of notifiable accidents include:-

  • Fractures

  • (other than fingers, thumbs and toes).

  • Amputation.

  • Injury that results in a person being off work for over seven days.

More information on reporting injuries can be found here: www.hse.gov.uk/riddor

Carbon Dioxide

Cylinders Carbon dioxide (CO2) cylinders should be securely restrained in the vertical position when connected up to e.g. beer dispensing equipment. Restraint may be in the form of straps, chains or by mobile cylinder support.

Full cylinders not in use and empty cylinders, should be either securely restrained in the vertical position or alternatively if laid on the floor, they should be securely wedged to prevent rolling.

LPG Cylinders

The storage and use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), ie Propane or Butane, may lead to hazardous situations and is therefore potentially dangerous, therefore specific safety measures must be taken when bottled gas is used for cooking

and, in particular:-

  • LPG cylinders must be stored and connected outside of tents and marquees (for mobile vans see point below).

  • The maximum quantity of LPG in cylinders on any stand, including LPG connected to appliances or equipment should not exceed a day’s supply. If it is proposed to use or store greater quantities then prior discussion and agreement with the event organisers should take place.

  • The changeover procedure when coupling to appliances should be properly understood and staff properly instructed and supervised.

  • So called “empty” cylinders still contain gas and therefore should be carefully handled. The “empty” cylinders should be stored in the open air with the shut off valve in the closed position.

  • Fixed piping such as copper or steel is to be used where possible. However, if flexible tubing is used, it should be suitable for its purpose, e.g. to the appropriate British Standard and if necessary, provided with mechanical protection to minimise damage.

  • Flexible piping must be checked regularly for leaks (bubbles can be seen if joints/hose run with soapy water) and replaced if damaged or worn. LPG has a distinctive smell which gives warning of a leak.

  • Do not use a naked flame when looking for leaks.

  • Tubing should be crimped, secured by a suitable hose clip or similar and be gas tight.

  • Cylinder valves and gas appliances must be turned off when not in use.

  • Propane cylinders may be used to supply gas to frying and catering appliances in mobiles, providing that the cylinders and regulators are situated in a separate ventilated and fire resistant (not less than 30 minutes fire resistance) compartment having access from outside the vehicle.

  • Cylinders must be stored upright so that they cannot fall over and stored away from any ignition source or flame.

  • If the cylinder is stored inside a trailer it must be secured in an upright position with half an hour fire protection from the inside of the unit. Access must be from the outside of the unit and there should be adequate ventilation. The cylinder must be securely fastened during transit.

  • A suitable notice should be fixed to the outside of the bottle compartment to warn of the presence of gas. Suitable signs indicating “Caution – LPG” and “Highly Flammable” should be displayed.

  • All gas appliances must be fitted with a flame failure device and adequately ventilated.

  • All fryers should be fitted with an automatic high temperature-limiting device (operates at a fat temperature of 250°C or lower).

  • The stall holder must be familiar with operating the appliance and have plans of how to deal with problems such as leaks or a fire break out.

  • Please ensure all your gas-operated equipment has been checked by a competent Gas Safe registered gas fitter and certified safe. You should bring copies of inspection documentation to the event so it is available for inspection.

  • Fire-Fighting Hazards and Equipment All combustible materials that could promote fire spread need to be identified and stored away from any ignition source.

  • An adequate number of suitable fire extinguishers and a fire blanket should be provided

  • All extinguishers should be properly maintained and regularly inspected and all volunteers should be made familiar with the use of the appliances. Some extinguishers are not suitable for certain types of fires, eg a foam extinguisher is unsuitable for tackling an LPG fire.

  • Stalls using deep fat frying as a cooking process should ensure they have a wet chemical fire extinguisher.

  • Further advice on fire safety is available from your local Fire Prevention Officer.


All electrical systems, including portable appliances (eg a kettle), transportable appliances (eg a cooker) and fixed installations (fuse boxes, cabling, spur outlets, etc.,) must be properly maintained by a competent person. Although it is for you to decide how to maintain electrical systems, it is strongly recommended that a planned maintenance programme is formulated and implemented. Cables must not be a tripping hazard and should be covered and be protected from accidental damage. Sufficient cable cover must be considered prior to arrival at an event.

If for outdoor use, cables must be of industrial grade and be resistant to abrasion and water. Domestic cables and plugs must not be used at outdoor events.


Generators can create a number of health and safety hazards. Therefore you must ensure that:-

  • They are protected from inclement weather but have good ventilation at all times. They must be sited away

  • from the public and/or in a protective cage on a hard standing or firm ground.

  • External plugs and sockets must be waterproof and the circuit breakers must work effectively.

  • In the case of small generators, they are placed on a bund enclosure to prevent ground contamination in the event of

  • a fuel spill or mechanical failure; large generators often have bunds built into

  • the design.

  • A suitable (CO2) fire extinguisher should be within 5m of a generator, small generators must be fitted with

  • a residual current device and all circuits should be protected with a 30mA device.

  • They are sited to prevent exhaust fumes from contaminating food or affecting people and be sited away from any inflammables and fuel.

  • Fuel used for the generators must be stored in an approved container away from any ignition source and the generator itself. The safest form of fuel is LPG.

  • Generators are not to be refuelled whilst the generator is still running and should be allowed to cool before any fuelling takes place.

Generators are also a noise source and can produce fumes. This must be borne in mind in the siting of the equipment. Most event organisers will require super silent diesel or LPG powered generators. Consideration needs to be given to contingencies in case of generator failure, particularly in maintaining food safety temperatures.

Emergency Planning

Procedures need to be in place to deal with any emergency that may arise and ideally these should be documented.

All persons involved in the event should be aware of these procedures. It is also important that there are adequate means of communication between key personnel and with the public.


There must be effective communication between organisers and the public. This is important for day-to-day problems such as lost children, accidents and for communicating safety messages. If you are relying on mobile phones you should ensure they work in the area where the event is taking place.

Crowd Management

Crowds should be adequately managed especially where there are likely to be surges of people such as at entrances/ exits. It is important you have sufficient clearly identifiable stewards to manage these areas and again means of communicating safety messages.

Traffic Management

It is important that traffic is carefully managed to keep it away from pedestrians. Stewards should be located in car parks and these should be adequately signed and large enough for your event. Access to the event will need to be kept clear at all times especially for the emergency services.

If nearby roads need to be closed you must obtain the relevant permission.

If your event is at night you should consider providing lighting to the car park. Measures may also be needed to retrieve vehicles if they breakdown or become stuck due to poor weather conditions.

Lighting and Power Supply

Arrangements where necessary should be made for the provision of artificial lighting, together with sufficient electric

power socket outlets for refrigerators, freezers etc. All electrical connections and adaptations should be made by a competent electrician in accordance with the current IEE Wiring Regulations

Safety of Temporary Structures

(Including marquees / tented accommodation)

Arrangements where necessary should be made for the provision of artificial lighting, together with sufficient electric

Specifically in respect of marquees, you must ensure that:-

  • Roof coverings, walls and internal decorations/branding are manufactured from a material that is flame retardant to BS5438 and marked accordingly.

  • Stakes and ropes used to support the structure do not present a tripping hazard. Particular care should be paid to the siting of supply pipes and wires to prevent a hazard.

  • There is complete closure of the temporary structures when not in use or in the event of high winds.

  • You install artificial lighting within a marquee or tent and to frequently use tented walkways. The lighting must be moisture protected and suitable for use outdoors. Lighting cables must be fully insulated where attached to metal framed structures. All installations must be undertaken/checked by a suitably qualified and competent electrician.

  • The design of marquees or similar tented structures takes into consideration the effects of high winds and wet weather, particularly for access points and serveries.

Care must be taken to avoid valleys created in marquee/tentage roofing to avoid the collection of water and potential collapse or leakage in heavy rain. Makeshift structures made from wooden poles and plastic sheeting

or rough wood will not be permitted.

  • Any means of heating within the structure does not introduce risk of fire or personal injury.

  • You plan the use of the space to ensure you do not store excessive levels of stock.

It is recommended to hire competent contractors for the supply of temporary structures


There is increased risk of scalding and burning from the use of deep fat fryers and handling of hot fat and liquids in a confined area. Deep fat fryers and other equipment for holding hot liquid e.g. urns should be properly secured and maintained. All spillages should be cleaned from the floor to prevent slips and trips.

Chemical Safety

Many of the chemicals that are used within the mobile vehicle such as oven cleaners and degreasers are potentially harmful if not used properly.

Most proprietary cleaners provide information for safe use on the label but if in doubt, you should obtain hazard data sheets on the various chemicals that you use from your suppliers. These will detail the safety precautions to follow, which must then ensure that any person who uses these chemicals is instructed in their use and that the appropriate personal protection equipment is provided and used.

Fairground Rides

All rides must be provided with a current mechanical inspection certificates (ADIPS) as well as £5 million public liability insurance certificates and risk assessment for each piece of equipment. Copies of an up to date inspection certificate and insurance must be brought to the event and be available for inspection.

All rides must be under the supervision and control of a competent adult at all times. During times of high use, it may be necessary to increase the level of support and such arrangements should be in place. Once the equipment is installed it is essential that you inspect the ‘set up’ to make sure you are happy that there are no obvious hazards.

Firework Displays

A competent person wearing suitable protective clothing should carry out firework displays. You will need to have enough space for the display, ensure fireworks are stored safely and that sufficient fire fighting equipment is provided.

Stewards should control crowds and prevent access to the firing area. Spent fireworks should be cleared up after the display.

You may need to contact certain agencies such as the Coastguard prior to your display and it is strongly recommended you advise local residents especially those who own animals or may be vulnerable such as the elderly.

www.http://www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/ fireworks/using.htm has detailed advice on organising your display.

Bouncy Castles/Inflatables

Inflatables are great fun but accidents involving broken limbs and necks are not uncommon. There have also been serious incidents where occupied inflatables have blown away due to being improperly secured in windy conditions.

All inflatables must be inspected by a competent person and be adequately maintained. Copies of an up to date inspection certificate must be brought to the event and be available for inspection. All inflatables must be effectively secured to the ground, supervised at all times and dangerous parts such as blowers to inflatables should be guarded.

Consider only using inflatable play equipment that carries the PIPA tag.

Inflatable Play Equipment carrying the PIPA tag means that it is:-

  • Designed to a recognised standard based on safety

  • Tested by nationally qualified inspectors

  • Approved for commercial use


The Parish Council has public liability insurance with cover to £12,000,000. Check any exhibitors or vendors have their own insurance.

Other Issues to Consider

Noise Control

Traders must ensure that consideration be given to minimise the noise disturbance of the stall/event on the surrounding area and local residents. Noise can arise from stages and sound checks, generators, lighting towers, fireworks, camping, crew parties, helicopters and unauthorised entertainment.

Please contact the Event Organiser prior to the event for details of any permissions of amplified sound/music within individual stalls.


Refuse and litter can be a fire risk as well as attracting pests and therefore needs to be well managed. All refuse should be kept in suitable lidded containers and should be sufficient for the size of the event and the amount of litter likely to be generated. Waste and litter must be cleared regularly from stalls and surrounding areas and not allowed to collect at the back of stalls.

Waste fats and oils must be stored in suitable lidded containers. Fat and oils should not be poured into the drains or on the ground. The event organiser needs to have arrangements in place for the collection of the oils through a licensed contractor. If you have concerns over the collection of waste fats and oils please contact the Event Organiser prior to the event.

General Trading

The following information should be applied to all trading stalls:-

  • Goods supplied by traders should not be misdescribed. It is an offence to be in possession of or to supply counterfeit goods.

  • Traders should clearly display the prices of the goods they offer for sale, including food and drink. Misleading price indications should not be given.

  • Any weight or measure indications given by the trader must be accurate. All weighing or measuring equipment used must be accurate and approved for trade use.

  • Traders who sell food must be registered with the Local Authority. All food should be labelled accurately and must be within date. Any

  • menus should accurately reflect the food described.

  • Prices must always be advertised for all items that are for sale on your stall. If you are trading on the street you must have your street trading licence available for inspection at your stall.


Environmental Health Officers may inspect your event to ensure it is being run safely. Should you require further information or an advice visit prior to the event please do not hesitate to contact them. Telephone: 0161 912 4509