Assessment of vulnerability to biological and chemical attack may call for decontamination shower units.
Stadiums and public arenas across England and Scotland are being assessed for their vulnerability to biological attack, a Building investigation has found.

The move could mean that shower units are built outside stadiums to cleanse supporters in the event of a chemical or biological attack.

The nationwide audit follows assessments of the vulnerability of tall buildings in London and landmark stadiums in North-east England, revealed in Building last week.

The additional anti-terrorism moves in the UK include:

  • A nationwide drive by the District Surveyors Association to encourage local authority building control departments to carry out risk assessments of stadiums and other areas of potential risk
  • National guidance providing stadium managers with a set procedure for responding to bioterror attack
  • The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers to assess the FBI’s advice on how ventilation systems can be used to deal with an attack
  • The establishment of a government unit called the Building Disaster Assessment Group to examine how buildings can be made more user-friendly for fire brigades.

Landmark buildings currently being subjected to the safety audits include football stadiums Newcastle United’s St James’s Park, Manchester United’s Old Trafford, Glasgow Celtic’s Glasgow Park, Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and Leeds United’s Elland Road.

Other venues include Newcastle and Sedgefield racecourses, the Wimbledon tennis complex and Durham Cathedral.

Trevor MacIntosh, chairman of the London stadium safety group, said: “We are specifically looking at the Wimbledon tournament because that has an international audience.”

Rodney Burrows, chairman of Core Cities, a national group of top building control officers, said the threat of biological attack could lead to showers outside venue grounds.

He said: “The fire service does not have the capacity to hose down vast amounts of people, so one idea is to install shower units.”

He added: “We are looking at the containment and decontamination of chemicals, and how quickly and efficiently plant can be shut down.”

Core Cities comprises representatives from Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is working with the London DSA to develop guidance on phow stadiums should deal with an attack.