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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Corporate guidance for operational activity

Hazard Knowledge

National Operational Guidance

National Operational Guidance uses strategic actions to assist services in identifying actions that will help them meet their legislative requirements and record them using the Strategic Gap Analysis tool.

The guidance aims to provide its users with a clear understanding of what must be done, their absolute duties, what should be done and what may be done. It uses lead sentences such as ’Fire and rescue services must’ and ‘Fire and rescue services should’.

The following definitions have been applied to the National Operational Guidance, including this corporate guidance.

‘Must’ – actions that are required by legislation. For example:

Every fire and rescue service must assess the hazards and risks in their area, with site-specific risk plans established for locations where hazards and risks are significant.

‘Should’ – actions that are recommended. If policies or procedures follow a different action, or do not include the recommended action, they are likely to attract criticism; this could be at managerial level or in a review process such as an inquest. For example:

So that fire and rescue service personnel can operate safely and effectively at incidents involving fires in waste sites, they should develop an appropriate understanding of site design and layout, the type of materials being stored and the method of storage.

‘May’, ‘can’ or ‘could’ – used when an action does not fall into either of the categories above, but is considered to be an appropriate method of controlling or eliminating the hazard. For example:

It may be appropriate to use thermal imaging cameras or on-site thermal scanning equipment to identify the extent of heat within large quantities of waste; this may reveal the effects of combustion that are not visible to the naked eye.