Skip to main content

Developed and maintained by the NFCC


Fire, heat and smoke

Hazard Knowledge

Fire, heat and smoke are always a hazard to rescue operations but in unstable/collapsed structures the effect of even a small fire will be amplified. There are many reasons for this, which include:

  • Restricted access and egress
  • Reduced ability to get firefighting media or ventilation equipment to the scene
  • The possibility that fire could weaken the structure further

Incident commanders must consider not committing personnel to the area if there is evidence of, or a risk of, fire, and should also consider withdrawing any personnel if a fire is suspected.

See National Operational Guidance: Fires and firefighting.