Skip to main content

Control measure
Consider using closed-circuit television (CCTV)

Control measure knowledge

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems are found in many different forms with various degrees of capability. Although the type of system and its overall purpose will vary, they are mainly used to ensure the safety and security of premises, people and property.

Many city centres, motorway and road networks, individual buildings (commercial and domestic), public vehicles and even emergency fire vehicles are equipped with cameras linked to networks or recording facilities. All of them may provide valuable information for the fire and rescue service from both an operational and investigative perspective.

Systems are often monitored by a dedicated CCTV control room, which can be a useful source of information to help an incident commander build a picture of what has occurred and what is currently going on in areas that may be remote from where fire and rescue service personnel are operating.

These dedicated CCTV control rooms may be located in individual premises or sometimes remotely at other locations. They often have the capability to broadcast live or recorded imagery to multiple networked receivers who may be on a fire ground or at a remote location.

Dedicated CCTV control rooms are often able to adjust the views of individual cameras. For larger incidents or in areas with difficult or dangerous terrain such as wildfire incidents, it may be appropriate to use CCTV equipment attached to aerial vehicles such as helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft

Some CCTV may be able to provide imagery in radiation spectrums, including infrared, which could provide helpful data during incidents with poor lighting or obscured visibility.

Note: CCTV systems fitted to fire and rescue service vehicles can be useful in protecting fire and rescue service employees who may sometimes be subjected to verbal abuse, physical attacks or road traffic collisions.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Make appropriate arrangements with CCTV system operators where necessary and, according to identified risks, to assist with operations, incident command structures and interoperability
  • Develop tactical guidance and support arrangements for the hazards and actions to be taken into consideration when using CCTV systems at operational incidents
  • Following the assessment of risk in the fire and rescue service area, consider using vehicle and personnel mounted cameras

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Access and secure CCTV footage for subsequent investigations and debriefs