Is your wedding venue fire safety up to scratch?

27 Sep 2017

Think about the unthinkable before your wedding day and read up on the fire safety laws your venue should be abiding by

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On one of the biggest days of your life, you will want everything to go without a hitch. All eyes are on you and your dearly beloved, and it is a day which everyone will remember for all the right reasons.

When it comes to organising the day, there are some things out of your control. And with the wedding venue (or venues) being the biggest expense, you need to know they’re fulfilling their end of the bargain.

So, when you’re looking around your dream wedding venues, here are a few questions to add to your list. It will give you peace of mind, and ensure you know what you can and can't do before paying the deposit.

Is all equipment serviced as required?

The best way of knowing that the equipment present at the venue can be relied on is to check that they have everything serviced according to regulations and manufacturer’s guidelines. This will include having electrical items PAT-tested and gas boilers and cookers serviced annually.

You also want to ensure fire safety equipment, such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and emergency lighting, is inspected at least once a year. The venue should be able to provide certificates for these checks. 

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What happens if there is an emergency?

Your venue will have an emergency evacuation plan. It will state the ideal route for people to exit through, which is usually using the nearest external doors, and where everyone should assemble, such as the car park or lawns. Familiarise yourself with the nearest exits before your day.

You’ll want to make sure that there are trained fire wardens available on the day, as they’ll know exactly what to do, keeping a cool head, and most importantly, keeping you and your guests safe.

Are there restrictions on table layout and guest numbers?

When a venue states their maximum number of guests or suggests a certain layout for the tables, they’re not just trying to be awkward. Their fire risk assessment will require them to make sure there are sufficient gaps between tables and walking areas so that people can exit safely and quickly. You can’t simply squeeze in another table, and, likewise, the number and size of the doors leading out of the room can dictate that number too.

Can I have candles and decorations?

When it comes to decorating your venue, it’s your chance to make it unique to you. Lighted candles look lovely, but they do present a big fire risk too, especially when there are flowers and other pretty objects on the table. As a result, some venues may ban candles altogether.

Battery candles are a much safer alternative. Regardless of which type of candle you choose, look at only purchasing or hiring fire resistant decorations as they’ll make it hard for a fire to spread. These should include tablecloths, draping fabrics, artificial flowers and leaves, and bunting. With a fire retardant spray, you can achieve this resistance yourself.

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To find out more information about fire safety, visit www.fireprotectiononline.co.uk.

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