Identify and investigate fire in concealed spaces

Control Measure Knowledge

Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI) or building plans may provide information on building design and construction materials and may identify concealed spaces. Early investigation of concealed spaces may reduce the risk of firespread in the concealed space and to other areas of the structure.

In the absence of SSRI and building plans, the owner, occupant or responsible person of the building may be able to provide information about concealed spaces and the access to them.

Fire detection systems, or alarms activating away from the initial zones, may provide information about the location of firespread.

The use of thermal imaging cameras (TIC) may help to determine the location and spread of fire. They may provide useful information but should be used with caution as temperatures may be masked by certain types of material, such as insulated panels or glass. For further information about the use of TICs see Thermal imaging and scanning.

Other means of identification may include looking for signs of smoke or heat damage to compartment boundaries, including ceilings. Signs of damage or smoke may be more obvious at breaks or joins in walls or ceilings, such as corners of the room or where fittings have been added.

Electrical fittings, including sockets or switches, may provide signs such as blackening around the area of firespread within a wall cavity. Damage to panels, from fire or other causes, may indicate the type of insulation used in their construction, allowing the risks associated with the particular type of panel to be assessed.

Indicators of firespread include smoke or heat coming from:

  • Building ducting or heating systems
  • Ventilation or air conditioning outlets
  • Ventilation bricks
  • Soffits

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions