Control measure knowledge

When working on unstable ground, the surface should be observed continually to spot any movement or dipping; this may indicate subsidence and possible collapse into unidentified voids.

Incident commanders should consider channelling water run-off to sacrificial areas, moving vehicles to avoid entrapment and containing, diverting or controlling the use of firefighting media to reduce the impact on ground conditions.

See National Operational Guidance: Environmental Protection – Fire water run-off.

Working on or moving vehicles on unstable ground should be avoided. Care should be taken whenever vehicles are driven off purpose-built vehicle routes. An assessment should be made to ensure that the surface can take the weight of the vehicle, avoiding the possibility of it becoming stranded.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Monitor ground conditions and the impact of firefighting media on ground conditions

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Implement appropriate methods to reduce the effects of firefighting media on ground conditions

  • Consider the use of on-site equipment and vehicles to access sites with unstable ground

  • Identify safe access and egress routes and areas for the site and any specific working areas

  • Consider the impact of past, present and future weather conditions on the ground conditions