Hazardous Material Safety

Hazardous Materials are substances that pose a risk to the safety and health of the community or environment when released from their containers. Examples include:

  • Spilled chemicals
  • Leaking or compressed gas
  • Unrecognized pungent odors

If you suspect a harmful substance has been released or spilled, do not attempt to clean it up yourself. Instead, secure the area around the substance, leave the area, and call 911, providing as much information as possible concerning the incident and/or substance involved.

Before a Chemical Emergency

  • Be sure you have your emergency supply kit ready.
  • Pick a room in the middle of your home or building for shelter.
  • Rooms without windows on the highest level are the best.

During a Chemical Emergency

  • Close all your doors and windows.
  • If you have a fireplace, close the damper.
  • Turn off fans, air conditioners, and forced-air heating units that bring in fresh air from the outside.
  • If you are told to stay where you are, you should:
    • Move to an inside room and bring your emergency supply kit with you. You may also consider sealing the room.
    • Check local tv and radio stations and the Internet for official news, information, and instructions. 

After a Chemical Emergency

If a biological or chemical emergency happens, officials may not be able to tell you what to do right away. It might take time for them to figure out exactly what the illness or chemical is, how it should be treated, and who is in danger.

  • Wash with soap and water right away if you think you were near a chemical.
  • Change out of your clothing.
  • Get medical help if you feel sick.
  • You should check local tv and radio stations and the Internet for official news following the emergency so you know:
    • How dangerous it is.
    • What illness you might get.
    • Where to get medicines if you have to.
    • Where to go for medical help or shelter.