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1.1 This policy defines hazardous materials

(HAZMATS) as any item or agents which have the potential to cause harm to humans, animals or the environment either by itself or interaction with other factors. The risks posed from the hazardous material can depend upon the type of material, quantity involved, its concentration and the context in which it is found. It is therefore important to apply an appropriate risk based approach to HAZMATS incidents.

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1.2 The responsibility of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) is to

control any spillage or release of HAZMATS to mitigate harm to the public and the environment. Any controlled or nonemergency situation remains the responsibility of the owners or occupiers of the premises where the HAZMATS incident has taken place.

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2.1 The hazards presented by these materials fall into the following categories:

• Chemical hazards:
− Toxic.
− Corrosive.
− Flammable.
− Asphyxiant.
− Explosive Policy number 806 – Fireworks and explosives – incidents and fires involving explosive materials.
− Oxidizing agents.

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• Physical hazards:

− Very cold
– cryogenics.
− Very hot.
− Pressurised vessels Policy number 376
– Cylinder procedure

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Radioactive hazards

Radioactive hazards Policy number 602
– Incidents involving ionising radiation:
− Ionising radiation.
− Contamination with radioactive material.

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• Biological hazards

• Biological hazards Policy number 98 – Incidents involving biological risks.

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2.2 Exposure to HAZMATS can lead to death, acute or chronic injury and disease e.g. cancer through:

• The inhalation of toxic substance or dusts.
• The ingestion of toxic substances through eating and drinking contaminated material.
• Chemical or heat/cold burns through physical contact with the hazardous substance.
• Absorption of toxic substances through the skin.
• Absorption across mucous membranes e.g. mouth and eyes.
• Injection.

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3.3 When gathering information, personnel must consider:

• Size – both of the premises and the amount of stored HAZMATS
• On site sources of information such as specialists, signage or Materials Safety Data Sheets

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3.4 This information should be gathered from:

• 7 (2) (d) visits.
• Local knowledge.
• Operational Risk Database (ORD) on the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT).
• On site specialist /responsible person / other Specialist advice.
• CHEMDATA via the Info tab on the MDT

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COMAH stand for?

control of major accident hazards

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5.4 The IC must send the appropriate message to Control
what is it to include?

• Confirmation of type of incident and the level where appropriate (See Appendix 1).
• CHEMDATA in use, detailing the HAZMATS information retrieved.
• Proposed emergency action code (EAC) and decontamination method.
• Specific operational procedures implemented.

Tactical mode.

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(i) Hot Zone

This is the contaminated area(s) where the initial release occurs or disperses to. It will be the area likely to pose an immediate threat to the health and safety of all those located within it and is the area of greatest risk. It is located within the inner cordon and is part of the hazard zone.

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(ii) Warm Zone

The area uncontaminated by the initial release of a substance, which may become contaminated by the movement of people or vehicles. It is surrounded by the inner cordon and is part of the hazard zone but usually contains lower risks than the hot zone.

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(iii) Cold Zone

This is the uncontaminated area between the inner cordon and the outer cordon. It is the area within which key operational command positions and other essential activities will be set up. The Police Service, in liaison with the Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service, should decide whether members of the public need to be evacuated from the cold zone

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(iv) Inner Cordon

The inner cordon surrounds the area where potentially hazardous activity may be conducted and encompasses both the hot and warm zones. It is used to control access to the immediate scene of operations. Access to the area controlled by an inner cordon, which by definition is the hazard zone, should be restricted to the minimum numbers required for work to be undertaken safely and effectively

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(v) Outer Cordon

The outer cordon designates the controlled area into which unauthorised access in not permitted. It encompasses the inner cordon and the hot, warm and cold zones. It should be established and maintained by the Police Service

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(vi) Hazard Zone

This is an area that contains hazards to which a risk assessment should be applied and additional control measures put in place in order to determine a suitable inner cordon. A hazard zone is not necessarily an ‘exclusion zone’ and would encompass both the hot and warm zones if they exist. The hazard zone is sometimes referred to as the ‘evacuation zone’ by other agencies and generally means the area where they would seek to encourage all members of the public to leave or possibly shelter-in-place.

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7.1 The IC must conduct a risk assessment (RA), and determine:

• Life risk.
• Threat to the environment.
• If the intervention of the LFB is appropriate.
• HAZMAT involved.
• Safe system of work and PPE.
• Resources required.
• Specialist advice required.

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When accessing CHEMDATA the IC should provide Brigade Control with the following information

• HAZMAT name (if known) , spelt phonetically.
• Then either: − HAZMAT name on CHEMDATA with the emergency action code (EAC) obtained.
− HAZMAT name found on CHEMDATA with no EAC available.
− No HAZMAT name found on CHEMDATA.
− HAZMAT name – unknown.
Finally the IC should request the EAC (if not available on CHEMDATA) and decontamination method from the scientific advisers (SA) via Brigade control

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7.17 In exceptional situations, when the ICs risk/benefit analysis deems it is necessary to commit crews to the incident prior to receiving specialist advice – for example

life saving or urgent actions to prevent escalating catastrophic conditions, AND the HAZMAT is unknown – then the IC must consider GTS. However, BA and full firefighting gear may be considered when the risk/benefit analysis deems it necessary. An example of this would be to save saveable life where the time constraints to don GTS would result in the life being lost.

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7.19 In these exceptional circumstances where crews have been committed prior to receipt of specialist advice they should, where practicable

remain “under air” until advice can be sought from the HMEPO/SA for decontamination , this advice should be sought immediately once crews have been committed to the incident.

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APP stand for

Additional personal protection code

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7.24 Working duration will always be subject to the over-riding consideration that the BA team

must be withdrawn immediately if any wearer shows symptoms of heat stress

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7.28 The primary role of the HMEPO is to:

• Provide advice to the IC.
• Assist the IC in determining the EAC, decontamination method and appropriate PPE by using the appropriate decision tools such as CHEMDATA and Permasure software (Appendix 8).
• Manage the RRT when in attendance to deliver the ICs plan.
• Liaise with the SA and any onsite, or other technical experts in attendance.
• Evaluate all available intelligence and specialist advice so as to filter out conflicting and ambiguous advice to the IC

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8.1 The emergency action code (EAC) sometimes includes the letter “E” at the end of the code – for example 4WE

. This does not imply EVACUATION, it means that there is a public safety hazard and that an evacuation “should be considered” by the IC.

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8.2 When considering whether to evacuate the building or area the IC should undertake a RA and consider the following. Can the public remain in a place of safety?

• Indoors with doors and windows shut.
• With ventilation and air conditioning systems shut down.
• With naked flames extinguished when appropriate.

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LEVEL 1 ATTENDANCES
Fuel spill up to 100 litres (including motor and cooking oils)

1 pump with crew manager Contain/absorb spill with resources available e.g. dry sand and request local authority or owner/occupier and hand incident over to them.

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LEVEL 1 ATTENDENCES
Natural gas leak or actuation of a carbon monoxide detector

1 pump with crew manager Investigate leak to ensure public safety and ensure no life risk present. Hand over to National Grid (gas) on their arrival.

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LEVEL 1 ATTENDENCES
Mercury spill

1 pump ladder with watch manager
Assist caller to clean up small spills e.g. broken thermometer. Or request SA with spill kit to assist crews with larger spills

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Level 2 incidents are defined

as incidents involving HAZMATS where the hazard is limited and the decontamination can be achieved using either the dam and brush or safe undress procedure