What is the risk of industrial accidents and major fires in Warwickshire?

Several organisations in Warwickshire store or use potentially dangerous substances. These sites are regulated by the control of major accident hazard regulations (COMAH). These regulations are aimed at reducing the likelihood that an accident will happen. They also aim to reduce the severity of an emergency should an accident happen.

In December 2005 there was an explosion and fire at the Buncefield oil storage depot in Hertfordshire. The fire lasted five days and 2000 people were evacuated from their homes. More than 40 people were injured; fuel and fire water entered controlled waters and the incident had a massive impact on the local community. This was Britain’s most costly industrial disaster.

Due to strict regulations these incidents do not happen frequently, but it is important to be aware that these and any large fire could happen in Warwickshire and you need to know what to do if this was tooccur in your area.

How could an industrial accident or major fire
affect you and your property?

A major fire or industrial accident could cause:

  • Risk to life
  • Casualties/ injury
  • Toxic smoke from the site and poor air quality due to smoke
  • Disruption to utilities as they may have to be turned
    off for a while (electricity, gas, and water)
  • Damage to local properties
  • Local road closures causing traffic disruption
  • Some people may have to be evacuated from local houses and buildings
  • Some people may be asked to stay inside and keep windows and doors shut
  • Strain on emergency responder organisations
  • Temporary localised disruption due to the emergency services attending to the site

We can all be better prepared to
respond and recover from industrial accidents and major fires


Pay attention to public information leaflets

The area surrounding COMAH regulated plants is known as the public information zone (PIZ). If you live within or near a PIZ you will receive flyers and other guidance telling you what to do should there be an accident.


Prepare a grab bag

What would you need if you had to leave in a hurry? What would your family or your pets need?

How to prepare
your business

Industrial Accidents and Major Fires Icon
Warwickshire LRF

What is being done to become
better prepared?

WLRF partners work with COMAH site operators regularly to develop plans on how they will help residents and businesses in the event of an incident.

WLRF partners will issue information and guidance for the public. We will practice our response to a major emergency so we know that our plans are the best that they can be. This will include on-site exercises so that we know the layout of the sites.

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service carries out fire safety inspections of all large buildings and works with industrial sites to reduce the risk that an accident will happen and learn more about the site.

Some of our partners