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Control measure

Identify and investigate concealed spaces

Control measure knowledge

Refer to the control measure of 'Access concealed areas' in the National Operational Guidance: Fires in buildings.

However, in buildings under construction or demolition, it should be assumed that fire stopping in voids may not be installed or may have been removed or compromised.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop tactical guidance and support arrangements for the hazards and the actions to be taken in the identification and investigation of fire in concealed spaces
  • Ascertain and provide specific equipment, training and process arrangements to enable personnel to conduct identification and investigation of fire in concealed spaces

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consult and liaise with owners, occupiers and responsible persons to ascertain the location of and access to concealed areas
  • Consider the possibility of any building modifications. (e.g. the construction and/or removal of partition walls and/or doors, addition of plant, electrical and mechanical systems)
  • Examine ducting or heating, ventilation or air-conditioning outlets for heat or smoke
  • Identify firespread in voids and cavities by cutting away and opening up for examination

  • Pay attention to the ongoing status of the fire detection system, further alarms or alarms activating remotely from the initial zones