Event safety

Public events can be a great way to bring communities together, and we are happy to provide advice where we can to help ensure that events in Dacorum are successful and safely run.

However, there are many aspects to ensuring that an event is safe and successful, all of which event organisers will need to consider during the planning of their event. For this reason, we suggest that event organisers consider employing experienced professional advisors to help with the organisation of events, particularly if the planned event is large or involves high-risk activities.

Events should be organised as far in advance as possible - generally an event with more than 1,000 people attending can take six months or more to organise and secure all of the required resources and permissions.

Dacorum Safety Advisory Group

The Dacorum Safety Advisory Group brings together a number of statutory agencies with responsibility for safety and public protection in the Dacorum area, including Dacorum Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Police, Herts Fire and Rescue Service, and the East of England Ambulance Service, and allows event organisers an opportunity to obtain advice on their proposals from multiple agencies through a single channel.

The group reviews event proposals and safety documentation prepared by event organisers, with a view to offering advice in respect of amendments that could be made to the proposals, or other matters that organisers may wish to consider. However, the group does not "sign off" event proposals, nor will the group or member agencies accept any liability for issues arising from an event. If you are holding an event you are legally responsible for the safety of the people attending.

We are also unable to assist in the preparation of event safety documentation, risk assessments, or similar.

Notifying the safety advisory group of an event does not replace any other legal requirements, such as obtaining permission to make use of private or council-run land, licences, traffic orders, planning permission or food hygiene registrations. However, in some cases, having notified the group may simplify these processes.

Submitting an event proposal

Event organisers are under no formal obligation to seek the advice of a safety advisory group, but it is recommended that they do so. In some cases, this may also be a requirement of an event's public liability insurance policy. Ideally, notification should be made several months before the event takes place, soon after you have decided upon the nature of the event, dates and venue.

Please complete our event notification form (below), and send the completed form to SafetyAdvisoryGroup@dacorum.gov.uk.

 Safety Advisory Group event notification form (PDF 193KB)

Event organisers should have prepared (or be working on) a number of documents in respect of their event, and copies of these should be submitted with the notification form, or shortly afterwards. Many of these documents will continue to change right up to the day of the event, but providing us with current drafts will mean we can give you better advice:

  • A site plan showing how the event site will be laid out
  • An event management plan, setting out how and when the site will be set up and operated, the chain of operational command and responsibility during the event (with contact details), a full list of the activities being undertaken as part of or in connection with the event, and any other relevant information
  • An event safety plan, setting out what additional measures and plans have been taken in respect of security, safety, first aid, and any emergency plans
  • A general safety risk assessment and a fire safety risk assessment for the overall event (the latter is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
  • Evidence of a public liability insurance policy for the overall event.

The information given on the form will be circulated to members of the group. Members can then provide information independently, or, if there are a number of specific points for discussion, the event organiser may be invited to a meeting.

General advice and guidance for event organisers

A number of resources are available to help event organisers, on a variety of topics. We have included links to some of these resources below:

Organising a voluntary event

General health and safety

We would expect most event organisers to follow the guidance in the "Purple Guide" when arranging their events. This document provides best practice guidance on a range of safety issues, and is written by and for event organisers.

The Health and Safety Executive also offers a range of advice for event organisers.

Crowded places

Fire safety

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a range of guidance on conducting fire safety risk assessments for events, depending on the type of venue where it is being held:

Food safety

If you are planning to bring in mobile food traders to cater at your event, we ask that you get the traders to complete our short food safety questionnaire. This allows our environmental health officers to check the food safety and hygiene measures that will be followed, and to give appropriate advice where necessary.

 Food safety questionnaire for outdoor event caterers (PDF 93KB)

General advice on food safety and hygiene can be found on our Food safety pages.