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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure
Identify and control the hazard area around munitions

Control measure knowledge

The likelihood of the presence of and type of munitions will depend on the use of the site. An appropriate hazard area should be identified and controlled, in liaison with the responsible person; in the case of ranges or gun clubs this may be the range officer or chief range officer. Access into the hazard area should be prevented if live firing is taking place.

Firing ranges at military or defence establishments and gun clubs should be well-controlled, with clear signage and warning signals present. For example, at a Ministry of Defence range, red flags (during the day) and red lamps (during the night) are used when firing is taking place. Military ranges may be subject to bylaws; in the case of military and defence establishments a Firing Notice may be published online.

If fire and rescue service personnel are operating in the rural environment and suspect live firing is taking place, they should maintain situational awareness, try to make themselves known and withdraw to vehicles if necessary. Gather information about how to ensure the safety of fire and rescue service personnel before proceeding.

Unspent munitions should be avoided and not tampered with; report them immediately to the responsible person or range officer. Implement cordons and consider hazardous materials procedures for dealing with explosives.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that information about sites with munitions and ranges is included in their Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI)
  • Carry out pre-planning and site inspections to identify and record the type, quantity and location of munitions that a site might hold
  • Use site visits as an opportunity to discuss the likelihood of the presence of munitions

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Adhere to warning signs and signals - do not enter live ranges unless confirmation has been received from the range officer that firing has been stopped
  • Liaise with the responsible person and identify the type, quantity and location of any munitions
  • Liaise with the responsible person or range officer to cease firing if access to the range is required in an emergency
  • Implement appropriate cordon distances, depending on type and size of the munitions
  • Take action to protect or remove munitions at risk of fire
  • Ensure fire and rescue personnel are wearing appropriate ear protection and high visibility clothing