Pyrotechnics are not only for the 4th of July, and as the economy re-opens in 2021, people are ready more than ever to celebrate with fireworks. Whether it’s at sporting events, fairs, amusement parks, or anywhere else – we’re expecting to see a lot of firework shows this year.
In 2019, firework sales in the U.S. reached $1 billion, up $333 million over the past decade, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Americans love their fireworks, and the amusement and entertainment industry has responded by providing more opportunities to enjoy them.
How to minimize fireworks display risks
- Assign responsibility — Your team members need to be familiar with local, municipal, and national legal requirements. Keep them up to date with codes and guidelines from official bodies like the NFPA. Everyone involved with the display should know their role and responsibility regarding planning, risk assessment, safety, and emergencies.
- Have proper paperwork — Before lighting the first fuse, make sure you have all of the necessary licenses and insurance policies in place and make sure they’re current. If you outsource contractors, make sure you have a contract that addresses the contractor’s obligations to follow the laws and regulations, insurance, and all other responsibilities.
- Assess the site properly — Make sure the location is suitable for the fireworks display. Identify the fallout area and make sure it’s clear of combustible materials. Identify parking, emergency exits, and spectator areas. Ensure that nobody can enter the fallout area.
- Post-show cleanup — Once the fireworks end, there are few more steps to reducing your risks. Make sure spectators stay out of the fallout area. Search for unexploded fireworks and any burning debris. Conduct a follow-up inspection the next day.
The final layer of protection is making sure you have pyrotechnic insurance. At a minimum, you’ll want to make sure your general liability policy will provide coverage for injuries and property damages caused by fireworks. In addition, depending on your event, it can be wise to get cancellation insurance, weather insurance, and special event insurance.
Special event insurance protects against lawsuits or damages due to bodily injury or property damage to third parties. The policy can also cover the venue and sponsors of the event. Your special event coverage may protect your employees also.
McGowan Allied Specialty Insurance is an expert in pyrotechnic coverages. We have more than 35 years of expertise in risk management in the amusement and entertainment industry.