Identify and isolate electrical systems in modes of transport

Control Measure Knowledge

Auxiliary power units and batteries vary in size and voltage, and will be located in numerous locations in modes of transport. There may also be specialist electrical installations to power devices within the mode of transport, and a number of power supply options present, such as battery or backup generators.

Isolation of electrical systems in modes of transport may be achieved through the correct operation or control of features such as:

  • Ignition keys
  • Proximity keys, smart keys or keyless entry fobs, which vary in operational range distances
  • Cut-off or emergency shut-off switches

Unless proximity keys, smart keys or keyless entry fobs are removed to and kept at an appropriate distance away from the mode of transport, they may reactivate electrical systems.

Some modes of transport can be started up through the use of a mobile phone app; this may activate the ignition system or auxiliary systems. These systems may be found in newer modes of transport, but as they can also be retrofitted it may be difficult to determine their existence.

Any mobile phone that has an app capable of starting up the mode of transport should be turned off. It should be kept under the control of an appropriate person, to prevent it from being turned back on accidentally.

If there is any doubt about the isolation of the electrical system by applying these measures, or if it is not feasible to apply these measures, it may be necessary to manually disconnect the batteries.

Although there are safety benefits of isolating electrical systems, doing so may result in deadlocked doors or prevent the use of features, such as electric seat adjustments, which could impact on accessing and extricating a casualty.

Given the vast range of electrical systems in modes of transport, specialist advice or assistance may be necessary to achieve appropriate isolation of the systems. This advice or assistance may come from:

  • Tactical adviser (TacAd)
  • Transport industry specialist
  • Responsible person, who could be the driver of the mode of transport

Personnel and other emergency responders should be advised about the presence of electrical systems in the mode of transport, and the potential hazards. They should also be advised to exercise caution if

sources of electricity cannot be isolated, or if residual electricity may result in systems remaining live in the mode of transport.

For investigation purposes, it is important to document at the earliest opportunity any actions taken to isolate or control the electrical system.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions