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We use chemicals everyday. We use them to clean our house, fuel our cars and help plants grow. In small quantities and when handled safely, chemicals can be helpful in making our lives better. In large quantities or when not handled properly, chemicals can become hazardous to our health.
You can help ensure the safe handling of chemicals by taking various protective measures. When using chemicals around your home, carefully follow the directions printed on the product label. Never mix chemicals unless directed to do so by the manufacturer. Always dispose of chemicals and empty containers properly. In addition, chemicals should always be properly stored in a safe location, out of the reach of children.
In the event of a major chemical emergency in our area, you will be notified by city officials. During a chemical release, the primary source of protection is to shelter in place. In certain cases you may also be asked to evacuate. If asked to evacuate, bring your emergency supply kit and follow the routes established by local authorities.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:
- The most common chemical accidents occur in our own homes and can be prevented.
- The best way to avoid a chemical accident is to carefully read and follow the directions for use, storage and disposal of the product.
- In the event of an emergency, carefully follow the instructions of the authorities. Listen to your emergency broadcast stations on radio and TV.
- If you find someone who appears to have been injured from chemical exposure, make sure you are not in danger before administering first aid.
- Remember, the best way to protect yourself and your family is to be prepared.
For more information about hazardous materials, visit the Local Emergency Planning Committee's (LEPC) website at www.laportelepc.org.