Toxic gases and hazardous chemicals, precautions and protection against them.

When burning a building or car, as well as fires in industrial areas, there is a risk of toxic gas poisoning. Gases are released when plastic and other materials are burned. Chemical and industrial accidents are another source of danger. 

Toxic gases and hazardous chemicals, precautions and protection against them.

In the conditions of such technological disasters, little can be done when they have already occurred, except to remain in the building, having tightly closed all the windows and doors. But you can pre-determine what threats are likely in your area from industrial and other enterprises.

Central and local authorities should conduct inspections to monitor and improve the effectiveness of security measures. Many relevant authorities require a clear indication of where hazardous chemicals are used or stored. For example, a sign in the form of a yellow triangle. When handling hazardous materials (hazardous materials are not only at work, potentially hazardous substances are found in the household and in the garden), follow the manufacturer’s safety precautions.

Avoid contact with chemicals and inhalation of their vapors. Take precautions against spillage, shaking, shock, and accidentally mixing some chemicals with others. All this can cause a dangerous reaction. If exposed to vapors or chemicals, get out into the fresh air as soon as possible and flush the chemicals with plenty of water. But remember that mixing some chemicals with water can lead to even more dangerous reactions. Know the chemical properties of the materials you are dealing with and the accident handling procedures. Avoid contact with chemically contaminated and do not breathe from mouth to mouth until you know which chemicals are associated with this accident..

Precautions for accidents involving toxic and chemical substances.

Stay away from accidents involving tanks or other vehicles carrying hazardous substances. Spills can be seen on the surface of the road. Hazardous gases may not be noticeable. When extinguishing chemical fires, special methods should be used. If you do not have the appropriate training and means to do this, you can aggravate the situation and put yourself and others at risk.

A common measure in such cases is the coating of flammable substances with foam, in order to block the access of oxygen to them and dissolve those chemicals in the maximum amount of water that do not give a dangerous reaction with it. But if you do not know exactly what chemicals are burning and the corresponding actions in this case, then do not come close. Notify the fire department and leave everything as it is.

Too many cases have been recorded when overly socially active individuals lost their own lives in such circumstances. So one of them tried to help the driver of an overturned tank truck, in which concentrated acid was transported. By the time the firefighters arrived at the scene, all that was left of it was a golden wedding ring. Vehicles may have a special color warning that they are transporting hazardous substances and gases, indicating alphanumeric codes. Which will tell emergency specialists what to do, what protective measures to take, and which explosive or poisonous substance.

If dangerous substances and gases in warehouses or during transportation are registered with the relevant local authorities, the rescue services may receive additional information. But uncontrollable factors, such as wind direction, temperature and others, will affect what actions will be taken in a particular case. If you see a chemical hazard code or hazardous cargo sign, do not approach a dangerous place.

Based on the book Complete Survival Guide for Extreme Situations, in the Wild, on Land and at Sea.
John Wiseman.

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