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The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) leads on national occupational health and safety policy for the entertainments and leisure sector, whilst Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing the law at individual events, such as festivals, in their geographical area.
Festival organisers have responsibilities under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and health of members of the public affected by their business. These responsibilities extend to ensuring that equipment provided for use by those attending festivals is maintained and operated in a safe condition.
Fatalities arising from exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) have occurred due to BBQs being taken into tents for cooking or as a source of heat. Where accommodation is provided, festival organisers are expected to take reasonably practicable measures to prevent these items being used in enclosed areas and raise awareness of the potential dangers.
There is no legal requirement to provide CO alarms in temporary festival accommodation. However, where there is a risk of CO being produced, HSE strongly recommends the use of suitable alarms as a useful precaution.
HSE has published event safety guidance to help event organisers comply with their legal duties (http://www.hse.gov.uk/event-safety/index.htm) and continues to work closely with industry stakeholders to remind them of the risks from CO and the precautions to be taken. The Events Industry Forum also produces a guide, known as the Purple Guide, for the live event industry.