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Control measure
Accurate records and statements

Control measure knowledge

Good record keeping is important in any investigation. For effective and methodical data gathering, consider using a log book, which could take the form of a contemporaneous notebook that can be referred to when providing evidence in a court of law. Physical evidence noted on arrival (broken window or remains of a petrol bomb, etc.) should be documented and the police informed. Incident commanders should ensure that personnel are aware that they may be required to give statements.

Decision logs can also be used to maintain a record of decisions and rationale for actions. Recording not only the evidential material but also the process followed can be very important for formal investigations. Without it, the evidence may be challenged or deemed inadmissible if not secured in accordance with recognised practice or local agreements.

If the fire and rescue service seizes evidence, this should comply with the appropriate standards for its collection, handling and storage.

As part of the investigation process, personnel may be asked for witness statements which should be given as soon as possible. Debriefing of any incident may form part of the investigation and should be recorded.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure personnel receive information, instruction and training in a structured approach to the investigation

  • Provide a means of capturing and securing records, statements and other evidence

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Collate and secure records from the incident and witness statements to inform future investigations

  • Record statements from relevant people as soon as practicable to assist in the investigation process