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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 - Guidance

      Consider deliberate reconnaissance based on a joint understanding of risk

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

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

Resource information

  • 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

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting specialist resources for detection, identification and monitoring (DIM)

  • Further resource information

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • 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

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

  • Flammable vapours

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings and container types to identify the presence of flammable vapours

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use atmospheric monitoring equipment to identify concentrations and extent of hazard area

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effect of buoyancy, weather and environment on the spread of the vapour cloud

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify all possible ignition sources and eliminate them as far as is possible

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify all possible methods of isolating the release (e.g. remote isolation or emergency shutdown)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Dilute and disperse flammable vapours (e.g. using water sprays)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Cool surrounding structures, areas and hazards to mitigate the risk of fire spread

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the risk from unignited flammable vapours before extinguishing and consider controlled burn

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the risk of a vapour cloud explosion (See explosives and cylinder scenario)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use only ATEX approved equipment in flammable or explosive atmospheres

  • Flammable liquids

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings and container types to identify the presence of flammable liquids

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify all possible methods of isolating the release (e.g. remote isolation or emergency shutdown)

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Remove or reduce any heat sources affecting flammable liquids to reduce vaporisation

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Dilute and disperse flammable vapours (e.g. using water sprays)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid introducing liquids to sub-zero temperature flammable liquids

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish exclusion zones, inner and outer cordons based on level of risk from a boil-over or slop-over

  • Flammable solids

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings and container types to identify the presence of flammable solids

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify all possible ignition sources and eliminate them as far as is possible

    • Control measure - Guidance Monitor the effect of the media on the fire to ensure that the anticipated outcome is achieved
    • Control measure - Guidance

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

  • Oxidising materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings and container types to identify the presence of oxidising materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Where Organic Peroxides are present implement appropriate levels of risk control

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the potential for intensification of fire or explosion from oxidising materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Monitor oxidising materials for signs of decomposition and heat

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Separate any oxidising material from exposure to heat and fuel sources

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify if the oxidising material or mixture involved in an incident is water-reactive

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Where oxidising materials are involved in fire, assess the potential for intensification of fire or explosion

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Carry out firefighting from a safe location using structural protection and/or ground monitors

  • Cryogenic materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use signs, labels, markings and container types to identify the presence of cryogenic materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using appropriate monitoring equipment for cryogenic materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Attempt to contain the spill or release of any cryogenic substances as close to the source as possible

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider dispersing cryogenic gases using water sprays

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid water and other extinguishing media entering any cryogenic containment system

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider covering the cryogenic liquid pool (e.g. using a tarpaulin or foam)

    • Identify triggers for a potential rapid expansion of cryogenic liquid

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that substances which may be reactive with cryogenic materials are kept separated

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the presence of on-site gloves and other PPE for protection against cryogenic materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Liaise with on-site personnel to ensure all processes that were supported by the cryogenic material are stopped, where it is safe to do so

  • Oxygen enriched atmospheres

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use atmospheric monitoring equipment to identify concentrations and extent of hazard area

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify areas at the incident that may have oxygen-enriched atmospheres

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify all possible ignition sources and eliminate them as far as is possible

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify potentially combustible materials that will be affected by an oxygen-enriched atmosphere 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use only ATEX approved equipment when crews enter any potentially flammable atmosphere

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

    Consider firefighter decontamination arrangements prior to committing personnel to the hot zone 

  • Control measure - Guidance

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

  • Control measure - Guidance

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

  • Provide arrangements for medical aftercare for anyone exposed to hazardous materials (see Control measure - Provide a health monitoring system for all personnel)
  • 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 a controlled burn strategy and communicate this to personnel and relevant authorities
  • Control measure - Guidance

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

  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement service procedures for dealing with hazardous waste post incident

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

      Ensure sufficient resources are in place prior to commencing any foam attack

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using dry powder extinguishers to extinguish the fire at the source of the leak

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using fine water spray to cool flammable liquid fire where necessary

Communication

  • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

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

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Use only ATEX approved equipment when crews enter any potentially flammable 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 inner and outer cordons are established, identified and communicated following an assessment of risk to crews, other agencies and the public

  • 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 

    • Log decisions including the outcome of joint understanding, priorities and multi-agency response plan

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

  • Further incident and closure information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider decontamination of personnel, PPE and equipment prior to redeployment

    • Hand over responsibility for any waste produced at the incident to a responsible person or party 

    • 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