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Incident information

  • Control measure - Guidance Identify the location of the fire, materials involved and any potential for flashover or backdraught
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider the stability, construction type, size, age and maintained condition of the building
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Identify number and last known position (LKP) of any occupants in need of rescue or assistance to evacuate
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Ascertain the availability of pre-arranged evacuation strategies and policies

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider using thermal imaging equipment for scanning when carrying out a scene survey

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Check building system indicator, slave control, alarm panels and CCTV to assess the status of facilities
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify utilities, including renewable energy supplies and locate isolation points

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify security features that may compromise safe access to and egress from the scene of operations

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Identify the presence and effectiveness of fixed installations and where appropriate, take control of their operation

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Identify any fire engineered solution and assess effectiveness against intended purpose
  • Further incident information

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Access premises information box or signage relating to building features
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use any available plans of the building to inform tactical decision making

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Question the responsible person, other responders and witnesses to understand incident factors and history

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Request information from Fire Control on any fire survival guidance being given
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the occupancy, use and contents of the property involved and adjacent properties
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the presence of unofficial occupants (e.g. squatters, rough sleepers, drug users, youths)

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider potential causes of fire e.g. deliberate or accidental ignition and illegal activities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the status of compartmentation, fire doors, means of escape and protected shafts

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the original use of the building and any subsequent structural or cosmetic alterations

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the location of basements, chimneys, voids, ducting, cavities and concealed areas

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Identify the presence of any active heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Identify the presence and contents of silos and storage tanks and the assess the risk to personnel
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Continually monitor and assess the fire development for signs and symptoms of escalation

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure regular scene surveys of the building are carried out based on the nature and severity of the fire and firespread

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access past, present and future weather information from sources such as the Met Office

Resource information

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider requesting aerial or special appliances to reduce risk and demand on resources

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Secure sufficient firefighting media to enable the fire to be fully extinguished
  • Consider requesting the attendance of police and other responder agencies
  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider the deployment of oncoming resources when positioning personnel and vehicles
  • Further resource information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request sufficient resources to implement initial actions, the incident plan and support contingency plan

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Request medical support for any casualties and safety of incident responders if required
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Identify a secondary water supply in case of increased demand or failure
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the use of wet/dry risers, fire mains or booster pumps to supply water to the scene of operations
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request support for people affected by the incident, from the local authority, partner agencies or police family liaison officers 

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Request utilities representative where isolation is required or illegal extraction evident
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting advice on structural integrity from local authority building control teams or USAR Tac Ad

Risk information

  • People

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Implement a co-ordination process for fire survival guidance being given by fire control
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider occupants that need assistance to evacuate (e.g. disabilities, medical needs, refuge areas)
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ascertain the availability of pre-arranged evacuation strategies and policies

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Review the use and effectiveness of evacuation, shelter in place or 'stay put' plans throughout the incident, to ensure they remain valid
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the effect of firefighting tactics and the flow path of smoke on evacuation routes
  • Restricted access and egress

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure access and egress routes are protected and not compromised by firefighting activity

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Select the safest and simplest method of gaining entry
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Be aware of security systems and devices which could potentially isolate personnel in risk areas

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider designating separate routes for access, egress and emergency evacuation

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using tactical ventilation to improve conditions and maintain access and egress routes

  • Fire and thermal radiation

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Position vehicles anticipating fire development, thermal radiation, collapse, smoke and other hazards
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use the appropriate extinguishing method, media, techniques and equipment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use covering jets or appropriate media to protect external boundaries and restrict firespread

    • Control measure - Guidance Put safety jets in place to protect firefighting teams and maintain safe access and egress
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that Firefighting PPE is worn in accordance with service risk assessment, procedures and training

  • Smoke and fire gases

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effects of wind and ventilation on smoke and fire gases when positioning firefighting personnel

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Adopt an upwind approach to smoke plumes and fire gases, and to avoid where possible

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using tactical ventilation to improve conditions and maintain access and egress routes

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Implement BA entry control procedures appropriate to the level of risk identified
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the impact of smoke plume on downwind life risk, road users and other transport networks

  • Flashover, backdraught and fire gas ignition

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Where backdraught conditions are suspected, apply media and ventilate before interior deployment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Where flashover conditions are suspected, consider direct firefighting techniques

    • Control measure - Guidance Consider employing a combination of direct firefighting and gas cooling to control conditions
    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Consider the isolation or containment of the fire compartment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Brief crews to carry out self-protection, door entry and compartment firefighting techniques

  • Uncontrolled ventilation

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider using appropriate ventilation techniques for any products of combustion

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Monitor the effect of wind and ventilation on the fire development, smoke and fire gases
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the flow path of smoke and fire gases and the potential for fire spread
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Put covering jets in place prior to the creation of exhaust vents, where possible
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider leaving unopened doors closed to prevent the unnecessary spread of smoke and fire gas

  • Fire spread

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider indications of hidden firespread, including smoke or activation of fire detection

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider whether a breach of the compartment would spread fire to another room, floor, area or building

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Check areas above, below and adjacent to the fire compartment for potential fire spread
    • Control measure - Guidance Put safety jets in place to protect firefighting teams and maintain safe access and egress
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess the status of compartmentation, fire doors, means of escape and protected shafts

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the impact of access routes, firefighting lines and actions on compartmentation
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use covering jets or appropriate media to protect external boundaries and restrict firespread

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the impact that failure or change in operations of fixed installations might have on fire spread
  • Unstable structure

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess and continuously monitor the buildings for signs of failing structural integrity, external and internal

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effects of the fire’s duration and intensity and firefighting activity on structural materials 

    • Control measure - GuidanceControl measure - Guidance

      Consider the structural stability of the building before deploying personnel for internal firefighting 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effects of the fire’s duration and intensity and firefighting activity on structural elements or structural frames 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Evaluate and monitor the potential footprint of collapse and debris

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider requesting advice on structural integrity from local authority building control teams or USAR Tac Ad

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the effects of fire or firefighting on mezzanine and raised storage systems

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Assess and continuously monitor the building for signs of collapse 

  • Machinery

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Liaise with the responsible person or process expert to obtain specialist advice on machinery involved

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider Isolating power supplies to on-site machinery

    • Control measure - Guidance Prevent the uncontrolled movement of machinery through shoring, chocking or similar means
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure only competent persons use or operate site machinery

  • Stacked materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the quantity, type and density of stacked materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish and communicate cordons and hazard areas around unstable stack and falling materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Monitor the effects of operational activity on the stability of stacked materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement an appropriate safe system of work for crews working around stacked materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Appoint competent safety officers to monitor specific hazards or activities

  • Hazardous materials

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify the presence of asbestos-containing materials and assess the level of risk (High or Lower Hazard)

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

      Use signs, labels, markings and container types to identify the presence of biological agents

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

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

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

    • Control measure - Guidance Identify whether the incident should be reclassified as a hazardous materials response
  • Animals

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify and communicate the presence of animals, and any associated hazards, to emergency responders and the public

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid, contain or control animals if neccessary

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid unnecessary contact with animals

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Seek specialist advice about antidotes, antivenom or specialist treatment 

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider contingency arrangements if personnel may become isolated in areas where animals present a risk

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request support with managing animals from owners, keepers, police, vets or welfare organisations

  • Cables

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Isolate utilities that may impact fire development and secure against reconnection
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider isolation of electricity supply to mitigate the risk of electrocution
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Identify any sources of renewable energy generation such as photovoltaic panels or wind power

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that PPE is worn in accordance with service risk assessment for live utilities

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement high-voltage safe system of work if a yellow 'danger of death' sign present

    • Take precautions when carrying metal ladders or other operational equipment; these should be carried horizontally and as low to the ground as possible
  • Fire water run-off

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider seeking specialist advice from a HMA on remedial action for spillages and fire water run off

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider diverting water to holding areas or sacrificial areas that will not affect firefighting operations

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the possible recirculation of fire water run-off, to reduce water used

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request advice from appropriate environmental protection agencies

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Attempt to control pollution using a Source – Pathway - Receptor model

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the impact of fire water run off on compacted materials and ground conditions

  • Preventable damage

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use the minimum extinguishing media required considering the appropriate weight of attack

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Close doors to prevent smoke and fire gas travel whilst maintaining access, egress and ventilation

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Use available on-site salvage plans and expertise to inform an incident damage control plan

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Move valuable items to an appropriate place of safety in liaison with the responsible person

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider protecting fragile objects from falling debris

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider completing an inventory of all items removed to a safe location

Powers, policies and procedures

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Enter premises or a place, by force if necessary, without the consent of the owner or occupier of the premises: 
    • if they reasonably believe an emergency to have occurred
    • if they reasonably believe a fire to have broken out or to be about to break out
    • for the purpose of extinguishing or preventing the fire or protecting life or property
    • NB Does not apply to Crown property (including ministry of defence) and diplomatic or consular premises
    • NB The Master of the ship (or delegated officer) of a merchant vessel must give permission to board
  • Further powers, policies and procedures

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Request a water undertaker to provide a supply and pressure of water greater than otherwise available

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Enter into an agreement to secure the use of water under the control of a person

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

    Extinguish the fire and eliminate all ignition sources

  • Further objectives

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

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

Tactical priorities

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Carry out any rescues or lifesaving actions

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider taking action to prevent a serious escalation of the incident

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Develop and communicate a firefighting plan and ventilation strategy to all personnel

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Implement a co-ordinated search plan, define parameters and sub-divide the area where necessary

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the need for damage control and salvage operations

  • Further tactical priorities

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

      Consider appointing a search coordinator to ensure all areas have been systematically searched

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Develop and communicate an incident plan considering contingencies arrangements

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Establish appropriate emergency arrangements for releasing personnel from cable entanglement

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure that good scene preservation and practices are adopted at all stages of an incident

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider moving physical evidence to a safe place, away from the effects of the fire or firefighting

Operational tactics

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider the appropriate speed of intervention to limit fire development

  • Control measure - Guidance Select an appropriate firefighting method (i.e. cooling, smothering, starving, interrupting)
  • Control measure - Guidance

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

  • Control measure - Guidance Select an appropriate firefighting technique (e.g. direct firefighting, firebreaks, controlled burn)
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Select appropriate firefighting equipment (e.g. extinguisher, hose reel, main jet, cutting extinguisher)

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Consider adjoining areas when mitigating damage due to fire, smoke and extinguishing media

  • Further operational tactics

    • Control measure - Guidance Monitor the effect of the media on the fire to ensure that the anticipated outcome is achieved
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Consider the use of monitors (aerial appliance mounted, fixed or portable)
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider compartment boundary cooling using appropriate and effective fire-fighting media

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider creating a firebreak to prevent firespread, considering the time required to implement

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider means of access to concealed areas, including use of hatches and cutting away

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider the use of on-site vehicles operated by competent people as part of the incident plan

Communication

  • Control measure - Guidance Establish communications to coordinate internal and external firefighting operations
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Conduct regular communication checks to ensure equipment continues to function

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Inform all personnel and other responders which utilities have been isolated and if any remain operative

  • Control measure - Guidance

    Inform all personnel of known or likely areas of interest for fire or criminal investigation

  • Control measure - Guidance Ensure that crews are briefed on all firefighting activities and provide regular updates on progress
  • Further communication

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Implement fallback procedures should there be a failure in the communications equipment

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Ensure all personnel are informed of any intended tactics regarding the fixed installation systems

    • 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

      Carry out timely liaison with partner agencies on the establishment of reception centres

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Consider taking control of fixed communications systems 

Control

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Consider positioning safety officers externally to observe fire development, smoke and falling debris
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Evaluate and monitor the potential footprint of collapse and debris

  • Further control information

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Record and time stamp the decision to isolate utilities in the analytical risk assessment and decision log

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Note issues relating to cordons or physical evidence in the decision log

Incident closure and handover

  • Control measure - Guidance
    Identify the area of origin and investigate possible causes of the fire considering criminal acts
  • Control measure - Guidance

    Hand over responsibility for removed items and security of premises to the responsible person or the police

  • Further incident closure and handover

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Secure the scene to ensure evidence is preserved for internal and external investigations

    • Control measure - Guidance

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

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Delegate collection of physical evidence to a police crime scene investigator or fire service investigator

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Notify police or fire investigators if crews have recently attended other relevant incidents
    • Control measure - Guidance

      Avoid movement of dials, valves and controls or record original position for investigation purposes

    • Control measure - Guidance

      Access and secure CCTV footage for subsequent investigations and debriefs

    • Control measure - Guidance
      Liaise with the police and local authority support teams at incidents involving serious injury and fatalities
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Review the effectiveness of active, passive and fire engineered protection before handing over the incident
    • Control measure - Guidance
      Document any failure of fire safety measures and communicate to relevant department

Additional information