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Control measure

Locate and avoid cables

Control measure knowledge

Lightweight conduit, trunking and cable fixings may be located by inspecting other compartments in the building, or similar nearby properties. 

Thermal imaging cameras (TIC) may assist in identifying internal fixings that have been subjected to heat, either from processes within the building or through exposure to fire. A thermal imaging camera may prove invaluable in poor visibility. 

Access and egress routes should consider the potential hazards of cables. Routes should either avoid cables, or it may be necessary to release or secure cables and their fixings. 

Confirmation that the electricity supply has been isolated should be provided by a competent person prior to electrical cables being released or secured. 

Specialist equipment, such as anti-entanglement covers or straps, may minimise the risk of personnel becoming entangled. Cable cutters can assist personnel to carry out a self-release in the event of entanglement. 

For information about isolating the electricity supply see Utilities and fuel – Isolate utility or fuel supplies to the premises 

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Consider providing specialist equipment for personnel working in environments where there may be cables

  • Have arrangements for thermal imaging equipment to be made available at incidents

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Assess the likelihood that cables and fixings will fail increasing the risk of entanglement

  • Consider using thermal imaging cameras to locate cable-related hazards

  • Consider using routes that avoid cables where there is a risk of entanglement or electricity

  • Consider securing or carrying out a  a controlled release of cables