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Control measure

Seek specialist advice: Fires in buildings under construction or demolition

Control measure knowledge

The local authority building control department is responsible for ensuring compliance with construction and design requirements.

Local authority building control teams help contractors comply with building regulations by giving feedback on plans and providing site inspections. A private 'approved inspector' may provide this service, but only local authorities have the power to enforce compliance with building regulations.

Local authority building control teams should liaise with fire and rescue services at the planning submission stage. Fire safety inspectors should attend construction sites throughout the building work on part-occupied buildings and also on completion. On unoccupied construction sites the Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing fire safety regulations and for general health and safety during the construction phase.

Where the responsible person (or appointed competent person) for the site is not available, the incident commander should consider requesting the assistance of local authority building control teams or structural engineers. The local authority may have plans or knowledge of the site, enabling them to provide valuable information to the incident commander.

If there is machinery or equipment on site which may be affected, such as cranes, hoists, high reach plant or vehicles, ionising radiation sealed sources or X-ray testing equipment, the incident commander should seek specialist advice from the owner or operator of the machinery or equipment.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Makes arrangements with local authorities to establish the type and level of response they can provide if specialist advice from building control teams or structural engineers is required
  • Ensure personnel are aware of local arrangements and specialist advice available

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Recognise the need for specialist advice
  • Seek specialist advice from the owner or operator of machinery or equipment on-site which may be affected