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Control measure

Mitigation

Control measure knowledge

At every incident, there is a risk that the actions taken by fire and rescue services to resolve the incident may cause loss and damage that exceeds the loss or damage caused by the original emergency. Fire rescue services have a legal responsibility to take reasonable steps to limit and reduce losses as a result of their actions. Incident commanders should balance the competing demands of preventing and mitigating damage against the need to save lives and maintain crew safety.

Operational tactics that might be employed to limit the damage caused by firefighting media include:

  • Diverting or channelling water runoff; this can be improvised by rolling salvage sheets to create a trough
  • Damming doorways to prevent water runoff entering unaffected rooms or parts of a premises
  • Running hose up the outside of the building
  • Inspecting dry rising mains leaks
  • Replacing burst lengths of hose as quickly as possible
  • Isolating sprinklers; this should be balanced against the need to ensure that a fire is appropriately contained and will not redevelop
  • Using sheeting to protect contents from the elements and any firefighting water run-off, i.e. contaminated water

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Assist owners, occupiers and responsible persons in developing plans to limit damage to property
  • Develop tactical guidance and support arrangements for the actions to take and associated hazards regarding mitigation of damage due to firefighting actions, tactics and activities

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Employ measures to limit any preventable damage caused by firefighting operations
  • Consider adjoining areas when mitigating damage due to fire, smoke and extinguishing media