Manage fixed installations

Control Measure Knowledge

There are various fixed installations found in buildings and structures, some of which are an integral component. Fixed installations can operate automatically or manually, but both types should have the ability to be managed. The responsible person, on-site staff or specialist adviser should be able to provide details about any fixed installations to personnel. Refer to Fires in buildings – Building supplementary information sheets.

Personnel should assume that fixed installations are functioning correctly. In large or complex buildings, fixed installations such as sprinkler systems may be operating, and may be able to suppress and contain a fire within a compartment while access is gained to commence evacuation and firefighting.

Some fixed installations produce an irrespirable atmosphere, such as reduced oxygen or carbon dioxide systems, both of which will require the appropriate use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE). If there are fixed installations that produce irrespirable atmospheres, every effort should be made to contain the suppression media within the compartment of origin.

If there are indications that fixed installations have failed or are not operating correctly, the reason for this should be determined before taking any action to manage them.

It is essential to assess the situation before altering the state of the fixed installation; if the situation is under control or improving, the status of the fixed installation should be balanced against the risk of causing preventable damage or other hazards.

Fixed installations should only be operated, altered or isolated in support of the incident plan, ideally following specialist advice. The incident commander should be satisfied that managing the fixed installation will not increase the severity or spread of the fire or compromise the safety of people and the building .

Firefighting activities and their interaction with the fixed installation needs to be considered when developing an incident plan. This should ensure there is no conflict so as to achieve the desired outcome while maintaining the safety of personnel.

Actions should be taken to ensure that no adjustments are made to fixed installations during the incident without a direct instruction from the incident commander. Any decision to alter or isolate fixed installations should be adequately recorded and communicated to personnel. For more information refer to Incident command – Decision-making.

It may be beneficial to identify the location and type of control systems of fixed installations through site visits, on-site training and exercises. Consideration should be given to liaising with industries that provide fixed installations to gain further understanding of their use.

It may be beneficial for fire and rescue services to maintain the details of specialist advisers for fixed installations and know how to request their advice or attendance.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions