Business Safety

Video highlights danger of decorations in bars and clubs

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has released dramatic video footage of a fire in a bar in a bid to prevent similar incidents in the city-region’s hospitality venues.

The film is being shared in advance of the busy Halloween, World Cup and Christmas party season to show how quickly fires can spread and to encourage business owners and managers to attend online workshops for the hospitality sector.

The CCTV footage shows the moment indoor fireworks in a cake set light to decorations hanging from the ceiling.

The decorations flare up, causing the fire to flash across the ceiling as customers scramble to get out.

The fire happened at a shisha bar in Rusholme, Manchester, in May this year.

A number of people were taken to hospital suffering suspected burns, although fortunately no-one was seriously injured.

The fire in Rusholme followed a similar incident at Bar 186, Deansgate, Manchester, on New Year’s Eve 2021. A fire also broke out there when indoor fireworks set light to decorations in the bar.

In both cases, a fire investigation has taken place to establish the cause of the fire which found in both cases that the fires were caused by indoor fireworks igniting decorations, which then burned rapidly allowing the fire to spread.


GMFRS is working with licensing teams from the 10 councils in Greater Manchester to offer free information and advice sessions to owners and managers of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants in advance of the Halloween, World Cup and the Christmas party season.

Leon Parkes, GMFRS’s Director of Prevention and Protection, said: “Hospitality venues have a responsibility to keep their customers and staff safe and at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service we want to help businesses to understand their legal responsibilities and take action to protect their property, staff and customers from fire.

“We have seen a couple of instances in the past year in Manchester where fires have broken out in venues caused by indoor fireworks setting light to decorations.

“While fortunately fires don’t occur very often, the impact of a fire can be devastating and many businesses don’t recover.

“Pubs, bars and other venues will be very, very busy during October, November and December. It’s important that staff prepare by getting trained in what they need to do and that they don’t inadvertently create a fire risk.

“We know that the last two years have been really difficult for hospitality businesses and hopefully the forthcoming World Cup and Christmas period will be a boost for them. We gave out fire safety advice in May last year as Covid-19 restrictions eased and we are now working with our partners to help hospitality businesses be safe and stay safe.”

All hospitality premises are required to meet fire safety laws. The Fire Safety Order requires businesses to:

  • Make a fire risk assessment to identify possible causes of fire and what fire safety measures are needed to keep people safe.
  • Reduce the risk of fire breaking out and of it spreading if it does happen.
  • Have the right type of fire alarm, so if a fire does happen that people are warned.
  • Planning an escape route and ensuring it can be used, by making sure emergency exits routes are clear and fire doors are not locked.
  • Having firefighting equipment in place such as fire extinguishers.
  • Having emergency lighting in place.
  • Training staff on what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Having a plan to deal with large numbers of people, some of whom may be drunk or who may have mobility difficulties.

GMFRS has written out to over 3,000 hospitality premises providing them with advice about their legal responsibilities under the Fire Safety Order. A series of workshops are also planned to allow businesses to hear first-hand from Fire Safety and Licensing Officers and ask questions.

The first of the online workshops was held on Wednesday 28 September and further workshops are to be held on:

  • 4 Oct, 1pm - 3pm
  • 13 Oct, 10am - 12noon
  • 20 Oct, 2pm- 4pm

Anyone who owns or manages a licensed or other hospitality business can sign up for the events via Eventbrite.

Article Published: 28/09/2022 16:06 PM