Hazardous materials are defined as a vast collection of various materials that pose a threat to life, health, property, or the environment. Hazardous materials may be radioactive, flammable, combustible, explosive, toxic, noxious, corrosive, oxidizable, or irritating.
Incidents involving hazardous materials may originate within your Premises or from an external source. (The first step is to identify the hazardous materials that may be located in the Building.) This could include a wide variety of substances from industrial chemicals used in a manufacturing process to cleaning fluids stored in a janitor’s closet.
External threats may be more difficult to identify. Some potential threats may be easy to identify; a building next to a nuclear reactor could be exposed to radiation in the event of an incident. Other threats may be less obvious. A hospital or doctor’s office many use radioactive materials. Buildings located near a highway or railroad could be threatened by almost any substance being carried on those transportation routes.
If you are instructed by the authorities to remain where you are, it may be necessary to seal the Building to limit or prevent the intrusion of the hazardous material. Doors and windows may need to be located and gaps around doors and windows may need to be sealed with damp towels and duct tape. Other vents, cracks, or Building openings may need to be sealed as well. If outside air cannot be eliminated, the ventilation system may need to be turned off. You should closely monitor and follow any orders or recommendations given by the responding authorities. Furthermore, avoid inhalation of fumes, smoke, etc.
In case of imminent danger to health, property or the environment:
Natural gas does not have an odor, so a chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to the gas. This chemical allows us to smell the natural gas at a level well before it reaches explosive levels. Other signs to alert you to a leak are blowing dirt or dust, bubbles forming in a glass of water and a hissing or whistling noise.
Known or suspected sources of the odor may be from hot water heaters, gas appliances, and the building heating systems.
In the event of a strong odor of natural gas:
- Gather staff in a safe distance from the Building. Do not return to the Building until
instructed by emergency personnel.
- Shortness of breath, etc.
- Alert others, including other Tenants in your area.
If you suspect a gas leak and/or notice a mild odor of natural gas: