Firework explosions spark business insurance warning

Business insurers have put a rocket up firework shops and suppliers over concerns the festivities will spark a series of explosions and injuries.

Firework storage failings have led to several explosions, serious injuries and even deaths in recent years.

Storing fireworks is now controlled by new rules set by the health & Safety executive.

Insurers are warning that businesses who fail to keep to the new guidelines are likely to have business insurance claims rejected.

To make a successful claim, a business must show:

  • The number of fireworks stored did not exceed the limit for the premises – the number depends on the size of the retail space, while 250 kilos of fireworks need to be kept in a metal container and up to 1,000 kilos must be stored in a spark-proof, detached building.
  • Businesses with five or more employees must document a full risk assessment
  • Up to 12.5 kilos of fireworks can be displayed in locked showcases, containers, cupboards or drawers with any electrical supply to the unit switched off
  • Glass cases are banned from shop windows
  • Anything that can set off fireworks, like sparks or electrical equipment should be kept at a safe distance
  • Fireworks for sale should comply with British Standards BS 7714: Part 2: 1988
  • Sparklers are fireworks and should be stored with other fireworks.
  • If more than 75 kilos of fireworks are stored, a fire detection system and escape route should be installed
  • Retailers selling fireworks should have a licence from the local council

Mark Christer, managing director of More Than, said: “It is imperative that retailers of fireworks ensure that they are observing all legal requirements and guidelines to make certain they stay covered by their insurance for any eventuality.”

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