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Control measure

Consider isolating utilities

Control measure knowledge

The decision to isolate the utility should be balanced with the need for that utility, which may or may not assist firefighters. For example, isolating the electrical supply that fire-engineered solutions rely on, such as smoke extraction, may be a detrimental rather than a positive action.

It is an incident command decision whether or not to isolate the utilities in a building. This should be documented in the dynamic and analytical risk assessments, stating what has and has not been isolated. This should be kept as part of the incident risk assessment and decision-making log.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Make appropriate arrangements with utility suppliers for representatives to attend at incidents
  • Develop tactical guidance and support arrangements for the hazards that may be encountered and the actions to be taken to isolate utility supplies

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Isolate utilities that may impact fire development and secure against reconnection
  • Identify utilities, including renewable energy supplies and locate isolation points

  • Consider isolating the electricity supply to reduce the risk of electrocution
  • Request utilities representative where isolation is required or illegal extraction evident
  • Inform the National Inter-agency Liaison Officer (NILO), police and utility provider where illegal extraction of utilities is evident
  • Establish an exclusion zone around inspection covers, where the fire involves underground services