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Access and egress: Below ground structures

Hazard Knowledge

Fire and rescue service personnel need to consider the possibility of unusually complex access to and egress from the scene of operations. Considerations may include the need for additional and varied entry procedures and routes, extended travel times, various transportation methods to scenes of operations and using unfamiliar equipment.

Gaining access to the scene of operations in a safe and controlled way is a critical part of fire and rescue service operations. The use of the infrastructure will vary depending on type, age and location. Some infrastructures may have facilities built in that accommodate fire and rescue service needs, such as:

  • Hard standing areas for emergency vehicles
  • Dedicated rendezvous points (RVPs) for emergency vehicles
  • Fire and rescue service communications extended to cover the rendezvous points (RVPs), shafts, underground area or tunnels
  • Premises information boxes or security standard boxes with plans, entry codes or keys
  • Security doors providing an agreed method of fire and rescue service entry without unreasonable delay, normally using keys, entry codes or remote door release devices
  • Firefighting stairs and lifts
  • Ventilation system to protect firefighting access from contamination
  • Firefighting lobbies
  • Raised walkways