Skip to main content

Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Hazard
Ineffective communications: Below ground structures

Hazard Knowledge

Normal fire service radio telecommunications may be rendered ineffective when operating in below ground environments and infrastructure.

Fire and rescue services should take care when accepting the use of the infrastructure's own communication equipment, particularly if this is hardwired telephone communications to a control point. The potential implications, including the loss of communication at a critical time, require careful consideration.

Noise can interfere with communication or emergency signals.

Communications with other agencies

Incidents involving below ground structures can present some significant challenges for communications infrastructure. There are no simple rules that can be applied and the communications problems found in individual locations need to be considered and overcome, This may involve using fire and rescue service and multi-agency methods as well, as the fixed systems supplied in many modern structures.

Communications, both internal and external, have been identified as areas of weakness in post-incident investigations and debriefs.