Fire Safety


Fire Safety

22 Jan 2020

We were right to predict a significant review of fire safety law post Grenfell and the Government accepted the findings of the subsequent Hackitt Reforms Report covered in our March update. We were over optimistic regarding the progress that might be made and as yet there is no sign of any changes to legislation any time soon. It remains our view that the events industry still does not have sufficient traction with this issue in terms of shaping any proposed legislation and it is worth restating the potential issues. The events industry now has reasonably good engagement with the HSE so can influence, to a certain extent, the application of new or revised legislation as we did with CDM 2015. The problem is that fire safety is a Home Office issue and the Fire Service and other public bodies will be dominant in shaping new requirements and may not properly consider the needs of the whole of the events industry. Sports stadia, theatres and similar fixed seat spectator/auditoria settings are reasonably well connected via the SGSA and ABBT respectively.


It is foreseeable, however, that the more dynamic high foot fall events such as exhibitions and indoor B2C events may be overlooked and could find themselves having to cope with a more expensive and restrictive fire safety regime. A major potential issue is who, at events, will be the arbiters of what ‘fire safety compliance’ looks like. At present the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order places that responsibility on the business to conduct a competent fire risk assessment and then implement it. Outside the regulatory regimes applicable at sports grounds there is very little official oversight. This mostly works well but the Grenfell fire has promoted the acceptance of a narrative that more regulatory control is required. This will either mean a local authority inspector required to pass judgement on whether an event is safe to open or the raising of the bar as to what constitutes competence when it comes to the ability to conduct a fire risk assessment. The event industry needs to push for the ability to continue to selfregulate as it more or less currently does.



  • "Great day hosting our first AEV working group event!..WOW did I learn a lot and some great insights into how other venues work and the challenges they are trying to overcome. If you are a venue looking to network with other like minded professionals I would recommend looking at joining the AEV".
    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
  • "“Great essential for a successful venue. The AEV provides a platform to establish consistent best practice in this field"
    Phil Wetz
    Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
  • “The AEV provides collective representation for its member venues, turning individual commitment into a group effort"
    Paul Brough
    Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
  • "Proud to be part of this Cross Association discussion. I am confident in our ability to improve and progress our working platform through conversation".
    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Vandenburg
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
  • We have benefited hugely from all of the insight, discussion, events and networking, but it has also meant that we have been able to give back to the industry by sharing our unique experiences and professional knowledge and allowing our employees to help lead and shape the Association from the inside.
    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
  • “The AEV has been an invaluable asset to us as a company and the wider industry, helping to lobby on the industries behalf, consolidating and distributing information and facilitating vital knowledge sharing.”
    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval