Use media to share information: People at risk

Control Measure Knowledge

During incidents or events where people are at risk, social media messages and press releases can be used to assist by:

  • Providing widespread safety advice
  • Sharing public information messages from other agencies to assist in reaching the largest audience possible
  • Sharing contact details and web links with agencies who can provide additional advice, guidance or assistance

Social media messages or press statements may be used to advise members of the public about actions to take to reduce harm, when to contact the fire and rescue service regarding an ongoing incident relating to people at risk, or to provide information to support evacuation, including:

  • Advising members of the public during widespread flooding incidents to only ring 999 if the water is entering the property or if people are at risk
  • Advising members of the public to keep doors and windows closed to keep smoke out
  • Providing the location details of refuge centres that have been set up to support people at risk who have been displaced

However, as with any method of reducing and filtering calls, there is a risk that calls containing valuable additional information about the incident or people at risk may not be made, so any public messaging advising that 999 calls should only be made in certain situations should be considered carefully.

Due to the potential increased workload of fire control personnel when dealing with incidents from or about multiple people at risk, press or media support from a media and communications team or media liaison officer should be considered.

It is important to avoid unnecessary public alarm when using social media to share information and advice, so any statements and messages should be worded carefully.

During multi-agency incidents, it is likely that a joint media and communications strategy will be established and a lead organisation agreed. Any press releases or social media messages should be in line with the agreed media and communications strategy.

When it has been determined that social media statements or press releases will be managed by the police or another agency, all fire control personnel must be made aware and details added to the incident log.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions