Whether it is a large corporate event, an intimate gathering, or a wedding, when planning an event you want to do as much as you can to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. From planning the itinerary to confirming the caterers, there’s a lot of planning that goes into a successful occasion. One of the most important things to do is to plan for fire safety.

The food
More often than not, food at events is heated using sterno candle. These gel warmers come in tin canisters and sit under the serving trays to evenly heat the food. If gel fuel food warmers are in use, make sure a type ABC fire extinguisher is on hand for emergencies. Do not put sternos out with water, and instead smother them using a fireproof plate or their own lid. Do not place any combustible materials near the gel fuels, and make sure no one tries to touch or mess with the sternos while they are lit. Never use one candle to light another, never carry lit cans, and always make sure the can is cool before you handle it.

The decorations
Make sure any decorations, equipment and wall coverings you use are flame-resistant. Do not let any decorations obstruct a fire exit, or be placed in a spot that could result in injury or fire. If you are using sound equipment make sure the person setting up and utilizing equipment is trained and able to do so without causing harm or potential hazard. Avoid using any open flame candles for decoration. If you really want to set the tone with mood lighting, look for battery-operated candles so you don’t have to worry about watching irresponsible guests.

The furniture
If seating is provided for the event, make sure it is safely set up. Do not allow tables to be too close, as this could become a hazard if a fire occurs. Make sure there are clear aisles and walkways for people to safely maneuver through. Even if there isn’t a fire, people don’t want to have to step over one another to get around. Make sure furniture is arranged to not only look good, but also provide for people to safely and easily walk and dance around.

The celebration
If the space you are in has a maximum capacity, make sure you don’t exceed this. Those are in place for a reason and help keep you safe. Have someone on hand to monitor all exits, halls and stairways for potential hazards. Have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency, and if an emergency occurs do your best to guide people to the safest exit route. If there will be dancing, make sure any hazards are off the dance floor and give at least a 3 foot perimeter to prevent any potential injuries.

If you plane properly, there is no doubt that your events can be a success. Once you do your part to ensure everyone’s safety, it is time to celebrate and enjoy yourself.