Chemical & Biological Spills

Immediate Danger

If the spill is potentially hazardous, or if you are unsure, take the following steps:

  • Avoid contact with any solid, liquid or gaseous chemical or biological materials, including vapor clouds.
  • Sound the building fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building to a safe distance and leave a clear access for emergency personnel. In many cases, safe evacuation for small spills will be 500 feet upwind from the building. In large spills, or if a vapor cloud can be seen, the minimum safe distance is 1/2 mile (10 city blocks) upwind. Do not return to the building unless instructed to do so by the police of fire department.
  • If emergency personnel instruct you to stay inside the building, close all doors and windows, and seal cracks around doors with towels, rags or other material.
  • As soon as you have evacuated, call Police (9-1-1) and identify the:
    Building Name:
    Room Number:
    Type of Incident:
    Chemicals Involved:

Non-Immediate Danger

Chemical spills not posing a serious health hazard should be handled as follows:

  • If you are not trained to clean such spills or are not thoroughly familiar with the spilled material, you and all other persons in the room should immediately exit the room, closing the door behind you. If feasible, place a sign on the door warning of a spill inside, or station someone at the door to prevent others from entering.
  • Attempt to confine the spill, if you have been trained to do so and if you are thoroughly familiar with the hazards of the spilled chemical or biological material. Use all safety procedures you have been trained in.
  • Anyone who has clothing that has been soaked with chemical or biological agents must be taken to safety shower immediately. Clothes must be stripped off of the victim under the shower spray.