Double, Double Toil and Trouble ... Fire Burn, and Cauldron Bubble!

By Shaunda Rauch on July 26, 2013 from Emergency Services Blog via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Blame my article title on my dramatic flair, but I think once you read my blog you will understand my use of Shakespeare's Scottish witches refrain to their demonic incantation.  I'm rather certain that the combination of "eye of newt and toes of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog, adders fork and blind-worm's sting" would certainly equal a hazardous concoction that we should be wary of.  
 
Chemicals are found everywhere. They purify drinking water, increase crop production and simplify household chores. But chemicals also can be hazardous to humans or the environment if used or released improperly. Hazards can occur during production, storage, transportation, use or disposal. You and your community are at risk if a chemical is used unsafely or released in harmful amounts into the environment where you live, work or play.
 
Hazardous materials in various forms can cause death, serious injury, long-lasting health effects and damage to buildings, homes and other property. Many products containing hazardous chemicals are used and stored in homes routinely. These products are also shipped daily on the nation's highways, railroads, waterways and pipelines.
 
Chemical manufacturers are one source of hazardous materials, but there are many others, including service stations, hospitals and hazardous materials waste sites. Varying quantities of hazardous materials are manufactured, used or stored at an estimated 4.5 million facilities in the United States--from major industrial plants to local dry cleaning establishments or gardening supply stores. Hazardous materials come in the form of explosives, flammable and combustible substances, poisons and radioactive materials. These substances are most often released as a result of transportation accidents or because of chemical accidents in plants.
 
The average household contains many dangerous chemicals found in common products.  They can be toxic, or corrosive, meaning that they wear away containers or harm skin.  They may also catch on fire or explode. 
 
Are you putting your family at risk simply by the household chemicals you are storing together? 
 
Do you know how to properly dispose of household hazardous waste? 
 
Would you know what to do if local officials issued a Shelter-In-Place order? 
 
Knowing what to do and what not to do when hazardous materials are involved in an emergency can prevent injury and save lives.  The next Bridgeport Emergency Reach Out event will help to answer these very questions for you.  It will be held on Tuesday, August 20th at 6:45 PM Bridgeport City Hall Council Chambers.   
 
We will be featuring information from the Harrison County Solid Waste Authority, Waste Management and Bridgeport Fire Department regarding HAZARDOUS MATERIALS and SHELTER-IN-PLACE procedures. 
 
The Emergency Reach Out event is FREE, lasts for approximately one-hour ... and kids are always welcome [no RSVP required]!!  While we are conducting our HazMat session, the kids will be participating in "Ready Kids" where they learn about fire safety, disaster preparedness and have FUN doing it.  
 
For more information regarding this and other Bridgeport Emergency Reach Out events, please feel free to contact my office at (304) 842-8200 x252 or via e-mail at srauch@bridgeportwv.com.  


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