Competent management of the closure of the incident is just as important as the initial actions of an incident commander on arrival. This includes:
- Facilitating proper handovers as the incident reduces in size
- Continued vigilance regarding the hazards that continue to exist or newly emerge
- Ensuring that site occupiers, neighbours and others who have been affected by the incident are kept appropriately informed
At the closure of the response phase to some operational incidents, residual hazards may exist that could cause harm to others if not properly managed. There may be control measures implemented by the fire service to reduce risk that will need to be maintained post incident. These could include immediate threats to safety, security of premises or environmental risks.
At some incidents a responsible person or body will be present to whom the management of these risks can be transferred. The risks may have a wider impact on the public or occupiers of neighbouring premises. There could also be no obvious way of maintaining control measures after fire service resources leave the incident.
Where there is a responsible person or body a formal handover of responsibility for the management of risk should be undertaken and a record made; this record may include the following:
- Responsible person's details and time and date of the handover
- Identification of hazards and measures to ensure health and safety arrangements are maintained
- Security issues, particularly where premises are left vulnerable, and the need to communicate with persons accepting responsibility
- Logging decisions made by the incident commander
- Formal acceptance of responsibility by the responsible person
The fire service may need to secure the personal effects and valuables of persons involved in the incident and ensure that these are handed over to the appropriate authorities. A record should be made of items recovered by the fire service and to whom these were handed prior to leaving the incident.
See National Operational Guidance: Incident command