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Control measure

Containment (Foam)

Control measure knowledge

The ability to contain foam run-off is preferable to allowing uncontrolled discharge of foam run-off to drains. Foam containment and run-off are the same as those for fire water run-off. See Fire water run-off.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop foam procedures, which must include:

    • Containment of foam run-off
    • Environmental considerations
  • Ensure that the impacts of using foam is included for operations in and around protected sites (for example Sites of Special Scientific Interest)

  • Where appropriate, consult with local environment agencies, sewerage companies, and nature conservation bodies where it can be reasonably expected that the use of foam may be considered

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Make every effort to prevent firefighting foam entering surface and groundwater during an incident

  • Consider the availability of pollution control equipment and/or pollution containment facilities on site

  • Consider the need to prevent foam run-off entering drains, including during make up activity
  • Consider the risk to the environment caused by the use of foam verses the benefits (rapid control of the fire)
  • Consider the legal exemptions. See Environmental legislation

  • Consider carrying out an environmental analytical risk assessment

  • Consider informing the following organisations of the use of foam and the quantities involved:

    • Relevant environment agency
    • Sewerage companies (where foam is likely to enter the sewerage system)