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Incident information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Approach hazardous material incidents at slow speed from upwind and higher-level ground where possible 

  • Control measure - Guidance

    When approaching the incident use visual and other incident indicators to inform situational awareness

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use weather information systems to identify impact of wind, rain and temperature on the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Gather incident information from a suitable safe distance based on hazard assessment

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify clear avoidance routes to the scene of operations and confirm them to all personnel

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Observe individuals for signs of exposure or contamination and check for consistency against identification

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Adopt 'STEP 1-2-3+: Safety Triggers for Emergency Personnel'

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the potential for secondary devices and share any intelligence with other responder agencies

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Recognise indicators that hazardous materials may be present in unexpected places (e.g. Drug labs, IEDs, ICE)

  • Further incident information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access any operational or site specific risk information (SSRI) and confirm accuracy

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access any available emergency response plan and implement appropriate predetermined actions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and contact the responsible person to understand incident factors and history

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Adopt a cautious approach to situational awareness where there are no immediate threats to life

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Set up improvised wind monitoring devices to indicate current and changing conditions

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Use waterproof chemical/substance information boards to retrieve information from the scene

Resource information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Position response vehicles outside any potential fireball and blast zone when cylinders are involved in fire

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting the attendance of hazardous materials adviser (HMA)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Request appropriate specialist resources and equipment for hazardous material incidents

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting the attendance of a competent person, subject matter expert or tactical adviser

  • Further resource information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request the appropriate emergency response for a confirmed or suspected CBRN or CBRN(e) event

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify best access route, rendezvous point (RVP) and marshalling area and communicate to all responders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the availability of pollution control equipment and/or pollution containment facilities on site

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting a drone to assist with informing accurate situational awareness

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting the attendance of tactical advisers or subject matter experts

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting the attendance of hazardous materials adviser (HMA)

Risk information

  • People

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Determine whether people should be advised to evacuate, shelter in place or 'stay put'

    • Identify the evacuation strategy and potential routes from SSRI, responsible person and building plans
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider occupants that need assistance to evacuate (e.g. disabilities, medical needs, refuge areas)
    • Consider methods of communication to inform occupants of the evacuation strategy

  • Release or spill of hazardous material

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings, container types and detection equipment to identify substance

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the construction, condition and stressors acting on the ineffective containment systems

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the presence and effectiveness of secondary and tertiary containment (e.g. bund)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use incident indicators and container volume to estimate the quantity of material involved

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure all personnel wear PPE according to service risk assessment and procedures for HazMat incidents

  • Explosive material: Not involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that appropriate inner and outer cordons are established, identified and communicated following an assessment of risk to crews, other agencies and the public

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the type, quantity and location of explosive materials and confirm they are not involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use detection equipment to identify and monitor the levels of explosive material involved

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Prevent any fire, heat or other energy source/stimuli from affecting the explosive material

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Protect explosives not involved in fire using firefighting media where appropriate and safe to do so

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider ways to safely move explosive materials not involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use only ATEX approved equipment in flammable or explosive atmospheres

  • Explosive material: Involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the type, quantity and location of explosive materials and confirm they are not involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that appropriate inner and outer cordons are established, identified and communicated following an assessment of risk to crews, other agencies and the public

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Confirm that explosive materials are involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Set up a risk-assessed hazard area and evacuate everyone, including responders, from this area

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the risk of several simultaneous explosions and/or secondary explosions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the potential risk from flame impingement on ISO containers holding fireworks or explosives

  • Ammonium nitrate fertiliser

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the type, quantity and location of ammonium nitrate fertiliser and confirm involvement in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the explosion risks of confined, large stacks of ammonium nitrate fertiliser
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Observe ammonium nitrate for signs of decomposition

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Prevent ammonium nitrate fertiliser contacting combustible or incompatible materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider creating a firebreak between ammonium nitrate fertiliser and other combustible materials such as hay, straw, grain or feedstuffs

  • Gasses under pressure: Involved in fire

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Use signs, labels, markings, container types and detection equipment to identify pressurised gas
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider evacuating the potential blast zone and give evacuation or shelter-in-place guidance to those within range of projectiles

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider carefully moving any cylinders that have not been heated to a safe location when in a developing fire situation

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish ground monitors and branch holding equipment to minimise the deployment of personnel in the risk area

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that firefighters use all available substantial shielding/cover within the range of cylinders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Recognise potential BLEVE situations and exercise caution when approaching them 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Approach potential BLEVE situations from upwind and the avoiding the 45-degree zones

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider immediate, massive water cooling, concentrating on ‘dry wall’ areas if there is a life risk

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify any physical damage to cylinders that may lead to potential failure

  • Acetylene cylinders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify if acetylene cylinders are involved in fire from all information sources

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the risk of decomposition within acetylene cylinders

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Leave acetylene cylinders that have been significantly heated or damaged by fire in situ

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Apply the acetylene cylinder cooling procedure as soon as possible

  • Combustible dust

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Recognise the presence of combustible dust from risk information, responsible person and scene survey

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the risk of dust explosion as part of the incident plan

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Eliminate ignition sources in areas at risk of dust explosions

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use only ATEX approved equipment in flammable or explosive atmospheres

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that firefighting operations or positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fans do not create dust clouds

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using fine water sprays or on-site systems to supress dust concentration

Powers, policies and procedures

  • Restrict the access of persons to premises or a place if they reasonably believe an emergency to have occurred

  • Further powers, policies and procedures

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the legal exemptions in relation to environmental protection i.e.
      • A discharge is made in an emergency to avoid danger to human health
      • All reasonably practicable steps were taken to minimise pollution
      • The relevant environment agency is informed of the incident as soon as possible
Why? Expectations? Benefit vs Risk?

Objectives

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Maintain the safety of all personnel, other responders and the public

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Save life and reduce harm

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Minimise the impact of the incident and fire service actions on any identified environmental risk

  • Further objectives

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Promote community recovery and restore normal operations
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Preserve the scene for future investigations

Tactical priorities

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Assess the need to conduct immediate life-saving actions at incidents involving hazardous materials

  • Control measure - Guidance Identify the number of casualties requiring medical attention and instigate a triage process
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use specialist advisers to carry out hazard specific assessments and interpret information and advice

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that all personnel wear the level of PPE identified by service risk assessments, procedures and training

  • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

    Instigate emergency procedures if personnel or responders are accidentally contaminated or exposed

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Predict any likely protection zone based on specialist advice, observation or modelling

  • Further tactical priorities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider a shelter-in-place strategy based on the number of people already exposed or potentially at risk

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Obtain advice from the hazardous materials adviser (HMA) on the size of any downwind protection zone

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Predict the likely hazard area using observation or modelling in liaison with specialist advisors

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the impact of hazardous materials on people, animals, infrastructure and the environment

Operational tactics

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Commit crews to perform rescues based on the hazard assessment and joint understanding of risk (JUR)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Attempt to contain the release or spill of a hazardous material using a Source – Pathway - Receptor model

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider dilution at incidents involving a release or spill of hazardous materials based on specialist advice

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider joint working in hazard areas based on joint understanding of risk

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Select appropriate firefighting media (e.g. water, foam, dry powder, CO2)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider positioning firefighting jets to prevent fire spread using branch holders and ground monitors

  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance Identify the nature and extent of casualty burns and communicate this to medical support teams
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify potential drainage routes for fire water run-off and released vehicle content

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider future disposal options. See section Disposal

Communication

  • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

    Share situational awareness and establish a joint understanding of risk with other agencies

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that hazards and risk controls are identified when handing over safety to the responsible person

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Strictly control the use of incident ground communications that may affect explosive materials

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use only ATEX approved communications equipment when crews enter any potentially explosive atmosphere

  • Further communication

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use the most effective methods for communicating with people who are either directly or indirectly involved in the incident 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure effective liaison and communication with off-site commanders and co-ordination centres

    • Control measure - Guidance Inform sewerage undertakers if discharge is to foul the water sewerage system

Control

  • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

    Consult specialist advisers to assist with modelling potential hazard areas

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that appropriate exclusion zones, inner and outer cordons are established and communicated at hazardous materials incidents

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Make a record of the hazardous materials assessment and incorporate into analytical risk assessment

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Predict any likely protection zone based on specialist advice, observation or modelling

  • Further control

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Enforce hygiene measures and ensure personnel don't eat, drink or smoke except in appropriate areas 

Incident closure and handover

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ensure that hazards and risk controls are identified when handing over safety to the responsible person

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement service procedures for dealing with hazardous waste post incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the condition and serviceability of PPE when assessing operational readiness for redeployment

  • Further incident closure and handover

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider decontamination of personnel, PPE and equipment prior to redeployment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement service procedures for dealing with hazardous waste post incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that all records related to the exposure or potential exposure are completed as soon as possible

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Follow service protocols for post incident health surveillance and monitoring

Additional information

  • Hazardous materials cordon size

    Generic initial cordon distance guidance

    Note: continuous risk assessment should be carried out to ensure that the cordon remains appropriate and proportionate to the risks identified by the incident commander

    Incident type

    Initial cordon distance (metres radius)

    Explosives - manufacture,

    storage, transport 

     

     

    (NB pre-planning for known sites

    should include rendezvous

    points (RVPs) at safe distances)

     

    100m for transport incident HD 1.4 

    200m for transport incident HD 1.3

    600m for transport incident HD 1.1, HD 1.2 and HD 1.5 (or when HD is not known)

    100m for registered premises (fireworks only)

    200m for incidents at other registered premises

    600m for incidents involving licensed storage (under 2000kg)

    1000m for incidents involving licensed storage (more than 2000kg)

    Explosives –CBRN(E), terrorist

    (*Consider no fire and rescue

    service attendance or treat as

    'exclusion' distances for fire and

    rescue service personnel, take

    guidance from police and

    explosive ordnance disposal

    (EOD))

    100m for an activated device

    Unexploded devices: *

    100m for a suitcase-sized device

    200m for a car-sized device

    400m for a lorry (or when size of device is not known)

    Cylinders involved in fire

    (N.B. shielding may reduce distances)

    Fireball up to 25m

    Cylinder may be thrown up to 150m

    Flying fragments up to 200m