Skip to main content

Control measure
Seek specialist advice or assistance for dealing with utilities or fuel

Control measure knowledge

Specialist advice or assistance, in-service or external, may be needed to deal with an incident involving utilities or fuel. This will give the fire and rescue service access to a range of information sources and expertise.

The extent and urgency of specialist advice or assistance required will be dictated by the size, complexity and type of incident.

Gas industry

In the UK, gas leaves the transmission system and enters the distribution networks at high pressure. It is then transported through a number of reducing pressure tiers until it is finally delivered to consumers. There are regional distribution networks - refer to the supplementary information for the gas industry, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Seek specialist advice or assistance from:

  • Gas distributor for the area
  • Gas supplier to the premises
  • Gas industry helpline
  • On-site personnel and management team
  • Responsible person

Electricity industry

Electricity, in the main, is generated by large power stations. It is also produced by renewable energy facilities such as hydroelectricity sites, wind turbines and solar panels. Electricity generation can be described as microgeneration or mass generation.

Microgeneration refers to small wind turbines, solar panels, etc., whereas mass generation refers to large generating sites, such as power stations using fossil fuels or nuclear power.

Distribution network operators (DNOs) own and operate the towers and cables that deliver electricity from the national transmission network to homes and businesses. Electricity suppliers sell electricity to consumers.

Specialist advice or assistance may be required to isolate equipment; this should only be carried out by a trained and competent person. See control measure - Isolate utility or fuel supply to the premises, and control measure - Isolate utility or fuel supply within the national grid.

Seek specialist advice or assistance from:

  • Distribution network operator
  • Electricity supplier to the premises
  • Relevant high-voltage electricity network
  • On-site personnel and management team
  • Responsible person

Water industry

Water supplies and sanitation in the UK are provided by a number of water and sewerage companies. Refer to the supplementary information for further detail.

Some consumers are supplied with water from private reservoirs or water supplies, such as springs.

Water and wastewater services can be supplied by water-only companies and water and sewerage companies. Where water-only companies are the clean water supplier, sewerage services will be provided by a different service supplier (for example, water may be provided by Affinity and sewerage by Thames Water).

It is important to make contact with both companies if both services are at risk of being affected.

Seek specialist advice or assistance from:

  • Water distributor for the area
  • Water supplier to the premises
  • Sewerage company
  • On-site personnel and management team
  • Responsible person

Petrochemical industry and fuel

Each year, many millions of tonnes of petroleum products are moved around the UK. The oil, gas, refining and petrochemical industries fall into either the upstream or downstream category.

Upstream

This relates to obtaining crude oil and gas from natural resources and includes:

  • Exploration of potential new oil and gas reserves using seismic and geophysical surveys and prospective drilling
  • Development of oil or gas fields, including constructing the well head and production facilities

Downstream

This relates to processing, marketing and distributing crude oil into consumer products. It includes:

  • Transporting crude oil and gas by:
    • Pumping systems
    • Pipeline networks
    • Rail
    • Ship
    • Road
  • Liquefied natural gas systems, including liquefaction and regasification sites, oil refineries, petrochemical sites and gas processing

Seek specialist advice or assistance from:

  • Fuel distributor or supplier to the premises
  • Owners of the pipelines or infrastructure
  • On-site personnel and management team
  • On-site firefighting teams (if available)

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Develop arrangements and procedures with identified sources of specialist advice or assistance for dealing with utility or fuel incidents
  • Maintain the details of any tactical adviser (TacAd) or subject matter expert (SME) for utility or fuel incidents and know how to request their attendance

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider requesting specialist advice or assistance based on the extent and urgency of the utility or fuel incident
  • Consider the timely attendance of a tactical adviser (TacAd) or subject matter expert (SME)

  • Liaise with the owner or occupier, on-site engineers or maintenance engineers regarding power systems