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Developed and maintained by the NFCC

Control measure

Consider structural stability

Control measure knowledge

Normal domestic floor and staircases are designed with imposed and dead load rating equivalent to 1.5 kN per square metre or 1.4 kN for concentrated loads, this may be reduced due to age or alterations. The presence of specialist beds and other equipment for bariatric people may cause to floor load to be near capacity, the introduction of a large number of rescue personnel could lead to structural failure.

At some incidents the casualty rescue may necessitate changes to the structure of the building such as widening of door openings or creating new openings in structural walls. Where such measures are required specialist structural advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide information and instruction to responders on the risk of structural failure during bariatric rescue

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider the risk of structural failure at bariatric rescues and request specialist advice or USAR team
  • Request specialist advice prior to creating new or wider openings in existing structural elements