Unexpected Haz Mats

Generally, emergency responders expect to happen upon hazardous materials when responding to transportation or fixed facility incidents. Sometimes, haz mats (or potential haz mats) may be found in unexpected locations. Familiarity with haz mat container shapes and colors can be important clues indicating the presence of haz mats.

Crews responded to a grass fire on a cold day. The fire was running through some overgrown back yards; the fuels were light and about 18-24 inches high. A slight breeze was blowing, keeping the moderate smoke condition low to the ground. While pulling a hose line toward the fire, a long, cylindrical object with round ends was spotted! Whats a pressure container doing in a back yard?? The Incident Commander was informed of the finding. Flames around the cylinder were knocked down, the cylinder was removed from the burn area, and crews were able to determine the object didnt pose a hazard.

Photo: author









This object wasnt the only potentially hazardous item found. A 1.5 gallon, plastic gasoline container and a portable shop air tank were found in the burn area. Several tires were burning, requiring staff to remain clear of the tire smoke while extinguishing the fire.

Photo: author















Always be on the lookout for potentially hazardous items. Sometimes, hazardous items will be found in unexpected locations. For a quick drill at the kitchen table, discuss this subject with your crew. What unusual conditions has your crew found? What examples can you bring to the table (pun intended) for this drill?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Marques Bush

Firefighter Basics launched in February 2009 after Founder/Editor Marques Bush was looking for a way to express himself and share his experiences with brother and sister firefighters. Shortly after founding the site Marques spoke with several trusted friends and ask them to come on board and contribute also. Firefighter Basics is a dedicated group of firefighters who strive everyday to practice what they preach about Training, Safety, and Tradition.  We can be reached at firefighterbasics@gmail.com

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Recent Posts
Freelancing August 27, 2015
Ultrahazardous August 25, 2015
Aggressive Destruction August 24, 2015
Estimating The Stretch August 21, 2015
Alan Newton
Early in my firefighting career I was taught any decision you make is better than no decision. I had a 20 year career in the USAF with that motto and never had a problem.
2015-08-27 23:46:06
Aggressive Destruction
Yes yes yes yes!
2015-08-25 00:27:31
David Hodges
The Little Things
Very well said and so true. It does seem like we've lost the trait of taking care of the small things. Thanks for sharing and I’m sharing this will my entire department. Be safe.
2015-08-18 13:29:19
Flesion Perera
Failure or Success: You Chose
It is prefer to use elevated flat form if any rescue needed
2015-06-19 15:12:19
Brian M. Wilson
Getting Back 2 the Basics: Why did you ever leave them pt. II
I can't believe people would not care enough about their own lives to not ware all of the required and provided Turnout Gear. I mean, what are you going to do when entering and starting your search, STOP and sit down and say, let's just stay out here for a while until it cools ?…
2015-05-05 14:25:36

Follow Firefighter Basics

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter