Apply situational awareness: Utilities and fuel

Control Measure Knowledge

This control measure should be read in conjunction with Situational awareness


Situational awareness concerns the perception and understanding of a situation, along with anticipating how the situation may develop in the near future. It should assist the fire and rescue service in making safe and informed decisions.

Situational awareness should be gained by gathering information about:

  • What utility or fuel supplies or storage facilities are involved*
  • Which utility or fuel needs to be managed and controlled
  • The consequences of isolating and controlling utility or fuel supplies
  • Isolation points, which may require obtaining information about utilities or fuel from the responsible person for the site
  • Any sources of renewable energy generation, such as photovoltaic panels or turbines
  • The presence of any uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) or standby generators and what they are used to power

Any decision to isolate utility or fuel supplies should consider the implications on critical systems and business continuity. In some circumstances, leaving specific power systems on could be beneficial for resolving the incident.

Even if a site has the benefits of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) or standby generator, these facilities have limitations in their use. For more information refer to Isolation of uninterruptible power supply systems or standby generators.

If any utility or fuel supplies cannot be isolated, or a decision has been made not to isolate them, this should be communicated to personnel and other emergency responders.

Depending on the size and complexity of the incident, other agencies and utility response teams may attend, with effective joint decision-making and response being critical for safety on the incident ground.

Situational awareness may be supported by joint training and exercises, to improve familiarisation relating to utility and fuel supplies and storage facilities.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions