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by the NFCC

Control measure

Isolate or make safe utilities: Flooding

Control measure knowledge

Isolating or making safe utilities during a flood will potentially be more hazardous or difficult to achieve. There should be emphasis placed on liaising with the utility provider to obtain advice or assistance if required. It may be beneficial to establish memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with utility or fuel supply companies to improve joint working at a flood.

If the hazards from the presence of utilities in a flood cannot be controlled, fire and rescue services should:

  • Establish and maintain appropriate cordons to protect members of the public, personnel and other emergency responders from the utilities that may be affected by floodwater
  • Consider adopting defensive tactics

Electric and gas supplies

Control measures for dealing with electric and gas supplies are provided in the Utilities and fuel guidance, including:

Renewable energy

Control measures for dealing with renewable energy are provided in the Utilities and fuel guidance, including:

Pumping out of any commercial renewable energy site that has battery energy storage systems should be co-ordinated and controlled by the responsible person.

Electricity

Control measures for dealing with electricity are provided in the Utilities and fuel guidance, including:

Pumping out of any electrical substations or high-voltage power equipment should be co-ordinated and controlled by the responsible person.

Utility pipelines

Isolating pipelines will require specialist assistance and may take some time to achieve. For more information refer to Utilities and fuel – Isolate pipelines.

Some utility pipelines, such as sewers, contain hazardous materials. In the event of such pipelines failing, appropriate hazardous materials protocols should be applied.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Maintain a directory of emergency contact details for local utility and fuel supply companies

  • Consider establishing memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with local utility and fuel supply companies to improve joint working at a flood

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Establish and maintain appropriate cordons to protect people from the utilities that may be affected by floodwater

  • Consider adopting defensive tactics if utilities cannot be isolated or made safe at a flood

  • Consider using appropriate techniques to isolate or make safe utilities at a flood

  • Seek specialist advice or assistance from the appropriate organisations for dealing with utilities at a flood