Illegal activity involving utility systems
This hazard may exist where:
- Pipes, cables or meters have been tampered with:
- To fraudulently obtain supplies
- For malicious purposes
- There is direct electrical wiring to doors or windows to create a booby trap
- Complex wiring is providing heat and illumination for drug laboratories or cannabis cultivation
- There has been attempted or actual theft of pipes, cables or meters
The impact of illegal activity involving utility systems may extend far wider than a single building; it could, for example,
- Affect utility systems to other buildings or surrounding infrastructure
- Disrupt train or tram services
- Cause failures in telecommunications
- Create a risk of explosion
- Cause flooding from water or sewage
Control switches can indicate that the supply has been switched off, when actually it remains live. Therefore all electrical systems that may have been subject to illegal activity need to be treated with
caution, until made safe by a competent person.
In normal situations it may be possible to isolate a domestic gas supply. However, this action should not be relied on if there is any indication that the supply system has been tampered with. Therefore all gas systems that may have been subject to illegal activity need to be treated with caution, until made safe by a competent person.
Although illegal activity involving telecommunications cables is less likely to result in direct hazards, the impact may be far-reaching on the community.
Water and sewerage
In normal situations it may be possible to isolate an incoming domestic water supply. However, this may not be feasible if the water supply system or sewerage system has been tampered with; any resultant flooding may impact on other utility supplies or present a biological hazard. All water supply systems or sewerage systems that have been subject to illegal activity need to be treated with caution, until made safe by a competent person.
Knowledge and understanding
|Illegal activity involving electricity||
Understand all associated hazard knowledge
- Control measureIsolate power supply to luminous discharge tube signs
- Control measureAdopt defensive tactics until the utility system is isolated