Brits are being warned ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over laws that could lead to fines of up to £5,000 and even imprisonment as Brits prepare for celebrations over the four-day “blockbuster” Bank Holiday weekend.

The Queen is the first British monarch to celebrate the occasion having acceded to the throne on 6th February 1952, when she was just 25-years-old.

The nation will come together to mark the occasion of 70 years on the throne and will be given an extra day off work to take part in a long weekend of celebratory activities.

With the celebrations just weeks away, many of us will be decorating our homes and gardens, but it’s important that you decorate the exterior of your property safely so that any visitors don't come to face any accidental harm, otherwise, you might end up paying for it. 

Barratt Homes has put together a helpful guide to help you decorate your home as safely as possible for the Platinum Jubilee this year on June 3rd. 

As a homeowner or occupier of a property you owe a duty of care to visitors, and you may find yourself liable if any accidents are caused by the dangerous condition of your property or the decorations you install.

This duty of care means you should make sure your property is ‘reasonably safe’ including any driveway or steps. If you are aware of a specific hazard, you must take measures to highlight the hazard to those approaching your property. To ensure that no one is hurt during a street or private Jubilee party, set up decorations that will keep your house well-lit, and always double-check that your lights and their wires will not create a hazard for visitors.

Using fireworks to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee can also see a fine of up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

It is also important to make sure that your driveway/stairs or any other entry points to your home are free from items that could cause people to trip on or walk into. If someone does have an accident because of the way you have decorated your property, you could be dealt with a fine of up to £5,000.

The law in the UK is governed by the Occupier’s Liability Act 1957 (Lawful Visitors) and Occupier’s Liability Act 1984 (Persons other than Visitors).  You do not have a duty to prevent all accidents, but you are obliged to deliver reasonable care for the safety of visitors to your property. Ensuring everything is safe covers your home insurance and any unwanted liabilities. 

7 tips to avoid fines ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend

1. Bunting, balloons, and banners are all fire hazards. Make sure you avoid slips, trips, and falls whilst children are running around by ensuring these decorations are up high. Also, ensure these decorations are out of the way of candles and not to tie them so close to lights and naked flames.

2. Lights and candles should be used to a minimum and should be kept out of the way of curtains, blinds, and other decorations. Where possible, LED lights should be used instead of candles to avoid fire disruption.

3. Once the sun has set and you have decided to switch on LED lights, make sure that you check the wires for frayed or bare wires. Ensure that you are also not overworking your extension leads.

4. Keep drinks away from wires. A knocked-over drink can quickly become a fire hazard. Keep all wires in sight and keep an eye on children running around.

5. Dispose of all decorations safely. Bunting can cause harm to animals and pets if they are caught within decorations.

6. Keep pets safe. An open door all day could mean a four-legged friend could escape. Make sure they are comfortable when inside, and if outside, kept on a lead. Dropped food on the floor could also be a hazard and a trip to the vet that nobody needs.

7. Respect your neighbours. The hours between 7 am - 11 pm are fine for noise, however, any further disruption after these hours can cause fallouts and can be against the law.

Homeowners should also be mindful about wildlife and local pets when putting up exterior decorations. Avoiding disturbing birds’ nests when putting up decorations in trees or buses for example. Whilst it is generally wild birds’ nest that are protected by law in the UK, disturbing a bird’s nest should generally be avoided as should laying out decorations that cats or dogs could chew or choke on.