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  • Pasadena Fire Department

Pasadena Fire Department

  • Hazardous Materials

     
    A hazardous material is a material that, in any quantity, poses a threat to life, health or property. More than four billion tons of materials classified as hazardous are shipped throughout the United States each year.

    Hazardous materials commonly shipped in the United States include:

    • Explosives (materials that combust or detonate)
    • Compressed Gases (pressurized flammable or nonflammable gas)
    • Flammable Liquids (those with a flash point of less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Combustible Liquids (those with a flash point greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Flammable Solids (solid material that burns vigorously and can be ignited readily)
    • Oxidizers (substances that give off oxygen or act like oxygen and stimulate combustion)
    • Poisonous Gases, Corrosives, (materials that destroy skin)
    • Radioactive Materials

     

    All incidents involving hazardous materials are true emergencies and you should call 9-1-1 immediately.

    General Procedures - Emergencies


    The general rule in working with hazardous materials is to act quickly and to isolate and deny entry (access). Time is critical, but do not act so quickly that you endanger yourself and others at the scene. Call 9-1-1 immediately. Secure the scene and limit exposure to anyone. Do not try any rescue efforts. Wait for the fire department to arrive on the scene.

    Motorists at Scene of a Hazardous Materials Incident


    If a motorist is the first on the scene of an incident involving a vehicle carrying hazardous materials, 9-1-1 should be called immediately.  Remember - stay upwind and on a higher terrain than the incident site, and prevent others from entering the hazardous area when possible.

    It is very important that motorists, their passengers and all bystanders avoid converging on the scene. Move to a safe area and ensure there is clear access for the Fire Department and other emergency responders. Evacuation of the area is critical because of the potential occurrences of fires, explosions and exposures. In many instances, crowds gathering around the scene of an incident interfere with emergency vehicle rescue operations.

    Household Hazardous Wastes

    Hazardous materials are not only found in businesses and factories, we all use them every day at home. Many cleaners, pesticides, home maintenance, pool care, and other products are the same materials, and just as hazardous, as the highly regulated hazardous materials used by businesses.

    Household Hazardous Wastes (HHW) are what we call those hazardous materials that we all use at home when we no longer need them. HHWs may not be thrown in the trash! Throwing your household hazardous wastes in the trash is just as illegal as if a business was doing it. To properly deal with HHW, follow these guidelines:

    1. Reduce – Reduce the amount of hazardous materials you buy, or choose less hazardous or non-hazardous alternatives.
    2. Reuse – Use up what you buy. Buying in bulk may cost less per ounce, but it still costs you more in the long run if you don’t use it up! Disposal of HHWs can cost many times more than the purchase price. We all pay for HHW disposal through our trash fees and taxes. If you use it up, there’s little or no waste.
    3. Recycle – If you can’t use it, maybe someone else can. If you can’t use a material any more, maybe a neighbor or a local charity can


    If you’re still stuck with HHW, then you can take it to a Household Hazardous Waste Roundup where professionals will collect, consolidate, recycle and properly dispose of your waste for you.  These events are for Household wastes only, not businesses. You can find the current schedule for the free LA County HHW Roundups at http://www.lacsd.org/HHW/HHWFLIER.htm.  Also listed on that page is information about the free Permanent Collection Sites which are operated by LA City and available for all County residents, as well.

    For more information, you can also visit: