Chemical Incidents


At times, the chemicals we use and depend on can present a risk to people. Should a hazardous chemical escape or spill from a chemical plant, motor carrier, rail car, or industrial facility, it would be necessary to take certain precautions for your safety.

The following directions should be followed if you find that you are within the area of the hazardous material event.

Shelter in Place

1. Move inside immediately.
2. Close all doors and windows.
3. Turn off ventilation systems.
4. Go into and seal a room.
5. Turn on the radio and monitor the event.

Check List

1. Close all doors to the outside, and close and lock all windows. (Windows seal better when locked).

2. Set all ventilation systems to 100 percent re-circulation so that no outside air is drawn into the structure. Where this is not possible, ventilation systems should be turned off.

3. Turn off all heating systems.

4. Turn off all air conditioners and switch inlets to the closed position. Seal any gaps around window-type air conditioners with tape and plastic sheeting, wax paper, aluminum wrap, or other available materials.

5. Turn off all exhaust fans.

6. Close as many internal doors as possible.

7. Use tape and plastic food wrapping, wax paper, aluminum wrap, or other available material to cover and seal vents and other openings to the outside to the extent possible (including any obvious gaps around external windows and doors).

8. If the gas or vapor is soluble or even partially soluble in water, hold a wet cloth or handkerchief over your nose and mouth if gases start to bother you. For a higher degree of protection, go into a bathroom, close the door, and turn on the shower in a strong spray to “wash” the air. Seal any opening to the outside of the bathroom as best as you can.

9. If an explosion is possible outdoors, close drapes, curtains, and shades over windows. Stay away from external windows to prevent potential injury from flying glass.

10. Minimize the use of elevators in buildings. These tend to “pump” outdoor air in and out of a building as they travel up and down.

11. Be prepared to evacuate the structure if asked to do so by a City Official.

12. Await instructions from emergency responding personnel.