World Cup warning for Cambs pubs about material and overcrowding

WITH the World Cup in South Africa due to start tomorrow, many licensed premises will be getting ready to show live televised matches.

However, Cambs Fire and Rescue Service fears that flammable items – such as plastic bunting and flags – combined with an increased number of people in pubs, clubs and bars could be a disaster waiting to happen.

The fire service has reminded all licensees that under the Fire Safety Order (Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005), they are responsible for the safety of their staff and their customers.

Giles Grainger, Fire Protection Officer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The World Cup is such a popular event that it’s almost guaranteed that our pubs, clubs and bars will be packed out with football supporters ready to cheer their team on.

“As a fire and rescue service, we are trying to make sure that these supporters are able to show their patriotism in a safe environment, without unnecessary risk. Therefore, we are urging all licensees to take note of the following safety advice.”

World Cup promotional material (bunting and flags)

• Remember that these decorations are often made of paper and plastic, which can be highly flammable.

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• When purchasing World Cup decorations, it is important to check if they are flame retardant.

• When putting the decorations up in a pub, club or bar, ensure that they are well away from ignition sources such as candles and lights, and also away from electrical items.

• Ensure that decorations are positioned away from exit routes, such as stairwells and corridors.

• Consider treating non-flame retardant decorations with an appropriate fire-retardant product, which can be purchased from most hardware stores. If you do experience any problems locating this, then contact your local fire station.

Marquees, tents and temporary structures

• Marquees, tents or other temporary structures should comply with the relevant British Safety (BS) standards. Any flexible membrane covering a structure (other than an air supported structure) should comply with the recommendations given in Appendix A of BS 7157.61. Air supported structures should comply with the recommendations given in BS 6661.62

• Emergency lighting should also be provided to ensure people can find escape routes.

• It is also recommended that all long grass is cut and the cuttings have been removed before the marquee is erected to prevent the risk of fire.


• It is important that the premises does not become overcrowded during an event. Escape routes need to be adequate for the people likely to use them. Staff should also be aware of the maximum numbers for the premises - including employees and members of the public - that may be present at any one time.

• In un-seated areas, foyers or bars, staff can estimate the maximum numbers based on a value of two people per square metre. However, this may be limited by the maximum numbers your escape routes can accommodate.

• To control entry numbers, staff are advised to use tickets or clickers to help gauge how many people are coming into the premises. In some situations staff may need to control numbers within specific areas to prevent migration and overcrowding.

• Further advice is available to download from (Fire resilience, Fire safety law).

For further information, contact your local fire station, or log onto

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