DFES - Department of Fire and Emergency Services
000 for fire or life threatening emergencies
132 500 for SES emergency assistance
13 DFES (13 3337) for emergency information
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Hazardous Materials

Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) may be released by accident or by a deliberate criminal act. Exposure to some hazardous materials could cause serious injury or be fatal.

Every year Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) firefighters attend and control a range of HAZMAT incidents. These can involve explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and gases, poisons, corrosive substances, radioactive materials and infectious materials.

Containing uncontrolled hazardous materials is a complex and challenging task requiring a range of different response methods to ensure community safety and protect the environment.

Licensees of premises storing HAZMAT materials need to plan ahead to manage potential incidents involving dangerous goods.

Key elements of an emergency plan include:

  • Keeping an inventory for dangerous goods on the premises
  • Documentation of what can go wrong with the storage of dangerous goods

If hazardous materials are spilled inside a building:

  • Warn people in the immediate vicinity
  • Evacuate the area
  • Ring Triple Zero (000)
  • Ask for fire services and advise (where possible and without endangering yourself):
    • Address of spillage
    • Name of chemical and the UN number
    • Amount of chemical split
    • Form of chemical (solid, liquid, gas)

It is essential you do not:

  • Ignore the incident
  • Touch or breathe in the chemical

If hazardous materials are spilled on the road:

  • Ring triple zero (000)
  • Ask for fire services and advise (where possible and without endangering yourself):
    • Location of spillage
    • Name of vehicle/s
    • Name of chemical and UN number
    • Form of chemical (solid, liquid, gas) If any people trapped in vehicles Number of people affected or injured
  • Evacuate the area and move at least 100 metres upwind
  • Warn approaching traffic

It is essential you do not:

  • Ignore the incident
  • Touch or breathe in the chemical

Transporting HAZMAT materials:

  • Vehicles must be licensed to carry bulk dangerous goods and the drivers of those vehicles must also have special licences
  • Vehicles carrying packaged dangerous goods do not require special licences but do need to adhere to requirements

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