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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre & STEM Ambassadors's online course, Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second Let’s identify some potential risks and talk through how to mitigate for them. Make sure you point away from the face. Don’t pull the popper beside someone’s ears. But if you do, ear defenders can protect against loud noises. Don’t inhale the smoke. Make sure you clean up your mess to avoid any hazards. Good luck!

Risk assessment of a party popper

During the introduction video for this week we showed you a party popper. In the video above we talk about some of the potential hazards associated with using a party popper. We will use this example to practise creating a risk assessment document.

Additional information

Party Popper: Do not dismantle. Instruction - point base away from face and other people and pull string

Party poppers are classed as indoor fireworks in some countries and are subject to legal regulation (included in the UK). One key point is that they must not be dismantled and CLEAPSS guidance PS81 specifically states ‘do not isolate the explosive charge’.

Risk assessment template

You may have come across a risk assessment template from your own workplace or one provided by the school or group you volunteer with. Feel free to use those. If not, use this risk assessment template. This is the one we use for practical activities delivered as part of the Glasgow Science Festival.

This task is to complete a risk assessment for using a party popper. You’ll then share your completed document on the risk assessment Padlet. Padlet is an online pin-board and will allow you to see other learners’ risk assessments and compare them to your own. You do not need to register an account to post to Padlet, but please do add your name to anything you post. Guidance on how to use Padlet.

Remember that risk is to both the participant and the person delivering an activity. You may wish to embellish the activity, for example by considering what event the party popper is being used at, who with and the location.


  1. Complete a risk assessment for the party popper.
  2. Share your risk assessment to the risk assessment Padlet.
  3. Select two other risk assessments to read through.
  4. Use the comments feature on the Padlet post to highlight two good things about the risk assessment you are reviewing, and one way it might be improved.

Use these examples and your learning from them to review and amend your own risk assessment. Let us know what you learnt in the comments below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Inspiring Young People in STEM: Planning and Organising Practical Activities

National STEM Learning Centre