What is a secure information box?

A secure information box (SIB) is a secured box used to provide fire and rescue services with information about the buildings layout and contents to help firefighters deal with operational incidents.

What premises may require a secure information box?

  • High rise residential buildings over 18m.
  • Blocks of flats under 18m that have additional complexity. This may be due to layout, access, floor numbering, flat numbering, firefighting facilities, fire engineering etc.
  • Student accommodation designed like a block of flats, e.g. those adopting a stay put approach whose top storey floor height is 11m or more.
  • New build blocks of flats whose top storey floor height is 11m or more.

Where should a secure information box be located?

  • The SIB should be sited at a location for us to easily locate and access. This is most likely to be at the entrance we would respond to in an emergency.
  • The SIB should be sited internally. If it is fitted externally this would ideally be in a sheltered well-lit area. The area should be available without the need for a code or key.
  • The SIB should be easily identifiable with means provided for us to easily access the information in it.
  • The location of the SIB should be communicated with us for inclusion in our mobilising system.
  • The fire service will need a key or keycode to access the SIB. 

What should be in a secure information box?

Secure Information Boxes should provide simple and useable information that is required for the purpose of operational firefighting and rescue. The contents need to be relevant for the building and residents in question. The information provided should include but is not limited to:

  • A log book for the purpose of recording events that occur in respect of the SIB system including emergency use, system updates etc;
  • A notice containing details of any fire-fighting fixed installations not available for use and/or unresolved fire safety issues. This could include firefighter lifts, dry risers etc.
  • A Summary of information useful to the Fire & Rescue Service on arrival at an incident.
  • An orientation plan, showing the location of the building in relation to surrounding buildings and other reference points (e.g. roads) and also water supplies.
  • A building layout plan showing the internal layout, including up to date floor plans and flat numbers.
  • A simple layout plan (if not provided in the Orientation plan) showing water supplies for firefighting including hydrants, emergency water supplies, dry/wet riser supplies etc.
  • Simple layout plans showing facilities of particular relevance to operational firefighting and rescue including relevant information regarding any lift(s) intended for use by the fire and rescue service.
  • Information on residents with mobility, cognitive or sensory impairment(s);
  • Significant fire safety issues – any compartmentation, external wall system or other fire safety issues which may affect fire behaviour in the premises.
  • A description of the current evacuation strategy, e.g, stay put, simultaneous evacuation.

If you require any assistance or further advice, please contact us.

Alternatively, further information can be found here:

PIBS_Guide_06-21_V2.pdf (nationalfirechiefs.org.uk)