Chemical Emergencies

Chemical emergencies can occur in the home, as well as the environment. We rely on chemicals heavily in modern industry and use them on a daily basis; however, some chemicals can be potentially very dangerous and disasters can occur when they are leaked, exposed to children or poorly controlled.

Chemical emergencies in the home

Poisoning is a common emergency in the home; the most common example of this is children eating or swallowing products that contain harmful chemicals. In most cases, poisoning is mild but it can be serious. Examples of products that may cause harm include bleach, cleaning fluids, window cleaner and medicines.

Environmental chemical emergencies

Chemical emergencies may result from fires, accidents and chemical spills; fires release dangerous gases, especially when fire envelops a building that contains bottles of harmful chemicals. Accidents and chemical spills can result from road accidents involving vehicles that carry chemicals, such as tankers, for example.

Preventing chemical emergencies

To prevent chemical emergencies in the home make sure harmful products are clearly labelled and kept out of the reach of children; harmful products should be kept in a secure place, which cannot be reached by children or animals. All medicines should also be kept away from children. It is often difficult to prevent chemical emergencies in the environment because they are usually caused by accidents; however, it is important to ensure that all people that are exposed to harmful chemicals are highly trained and are educated about how to deal with a chemical emergency.

Coping with chemical emergencies

In cases of poisoning, call 999 immediately and await medical help. Chemical emergencies usually have to be dealt with by the emergency services; large-scale emergencies can take a long time to control and may require the combined efforts of many different organisations; casualties that are involved in the incident will usually require medical assistance and should be treated as a priority.

Digestive Disorders


Chemical emergencies

Natural disasters:

Weather emergencies

Preparing for disasters