Skip to main content

Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure
Effective communication: Hazardous materials

Control measure knowledge

Effective communication is a prerequisite for good incident ground command and control, but it is especially important at hazardous materials incidents. Specific actions and tactics need to be considered as an increased amount of information needs to be gathered and analysed, and unique communications issues may be caused by wearing bulky personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles.

Equipment for use in places in which explosive atmospheres may occur must be selected based on the requirements set out in the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (EPS) unless the risk assessment finds otherwise.

For further information see Fireground Radios Guidance

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Have access to communications systems that are suitable for use at hazardous materials incidents such as ATEX approved radio equipment

  • Provide specific information, instruction and training on hazardous material communication systems

  • Provide additional information, instruction and training to personnel who deal with hazardous material incidents on the briefing of personnel who operate in the hazard area

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Use waterproof chemical/substance information boards to retrieve information from the scene

  • Use ATEX approved communications equipment when crews enter any potentially flammable or explosive atmosphere