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Control measure

Take preventative action: Unstable structure

Control measure knowledge

Any intervention to prevent partial or structural collapse should be carefully considered as part of an appropriate risk assessment, particularly before commencing internal firefighting operations. Collapse can occur suddenly and without warning. Intervention in the early stages of fire development may prevent  the incident from escalating or be necessary to save life.
Specialist advice may be required from local authority building control teams, structural engineers or urban search and rescue tactical advisers.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Make arrangements with other agencies to establish the type and level of response they can provide if specialist advice is required

  • Ensure personnel are aware of the specialist advice available 

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider early intervention to prevent escalation of the incident 

  • Consider the structural stability of the building before deploying personnel for internal firefighting 

  • Consider applying water sprays to structural elements, temporary supports and scaffolding