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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Apply cordons and control for utilities or fuel

Control measure knowledge

For generic information on cordons and control, refer to National Operational Guidance: Incident command - Structuring an incident.

Numerous cordon distances are appropriate for electricity, gas and fuel. Guidance about distances relevant to electrical sources are included in the control measure - Safe System of work: High-voltage electricity.

Cordon distances for gas and fuel are given in National Operational Guidance: Hazardous materials.

Pre-planning is a key part of determining safe distances for different scenarios involving utility or fuel supplies, providing responding fire and rescue service personnel with accurate and relevant information. Depending on the nature of the utility or fuel incident, specialist advice from utility suppliers and ongoing liaison with on-site specialists, where available, will be required to ensure cordons are suitable and adequate.

In the petrochemical industry, cordon distances can be assessed by calculating the heat flux for different petrochemical products and storage facilities. These calculations are normally undertaken by consultants and experts in the field as part of pre-planning risk assessments and to identify suitable rendezvous points (RVPs), holding points, etc.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI) identifies locations at utility and fuel sites that are likely to provide suitable cover from on-site hazards; this may be a combination of distance and/or substantial cover

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Implement cordon control to maintain the appropriate cordons or safe approach distances for the utilities or fuel present
  • Identify suitable cover from hazards at utility and fuel sites