Skip to main content

Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure

Cordon controls: Radioactive materials

Control measure knowledge

Following initial assessment of the contaminated area, an appropriate hazard zone will need to be established to ensure the public and emergency responders do not inadvertently enter the risk area.

Members of the public should be informed of the most appropriate means to avoid the risk of contamination. This may include a safe route away from the radioactive contaminant or instructions to shelter-in-place.

The best method to protect emergency responders against contamination is for them to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) while taking measures to avoid direct contact with radiation source.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide procedures and support arrangements regarding the hazards that may be encountered and actions to take to prevent radioactive source contamination of public and emergency responders

  • Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to control personal contamination from radioactive sources

  • Provide equipment to detect, identify and monitor the presence of radioactive contamination

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Establish exclusion zones, inner and outer cordons based on level of risk from the radioactive material

  • Consider evacuation routes or shelter-in-place tactics for members of the public

  • Ensure crews required to enter the hazard area wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and respiratory protective equipment (RPE)

  • Withdraw all other personnel from the hazard area

  • Withdraw public and emergency responders to a safe position immediately on discovering a potential source of radiation.

  • Set up a monitoring and decontamination zone before committing crews