Compiled by Dick Oakes
Before a Hazardous Materials Accident
- Survey your home and premises to determine types and amounts of hazardous materials on hand.
- Read labels and become familiar with potential dangers of the materials used in your home and premises.
- Provide proper storage and safeguards for hazardous materials. Commercial fertilizers and petroleum products in proper proportions are components of plastic explosives. Never store these two chemicals in the same area!
- Most household cleaning agents are hazardous materials. Use, store, and dispose of them properly.
- Store flammable liquids, such as gasoline, acetone, benzene, and laquer thinner, in approved safety cans away from sources of ignition.
- Keep combustible liquids, such as paint thinner, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, and turpentine, away from heat sources.
- Store oily waste and polishing rags in small covered metal cans to prevent vapor buildup.
- Sort through your storage containers. If you don't remember what is in them or cannot read the labels, properly dispose of the containers.
During a Hazardous Materials Accident
- Remain uphill and upwind from the source of hazardous material.
- Stay far away and restict other unauthorized people from approaching the scene until professional responders arrive.
After a Hazardous Materials Accident
- Each situation with hazardous materials will call for a different response. Review sections on fire and poisons for those specific situations.
- Remember, personal safety is of the utmost importance. Do not allow yourself or others to become part of the problem by endangering lives or property in an effort to gather information or control the situation without professional help.