How to Respond to Chemical Spills
Placards and the NFPA 704 Hazard Identification and First Response System

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Hazardous Materials Guide for First Responders - 
General Approach to a Hazmat Incident

The NFPA diamond

 

The US National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a marking system (“the NFPA fire diamond”) designed for the benefit of first responders in chemical accidents. Though often used worldwide in transportation of chemicals and dangerous goods it is not required in transportation. It is intended for use on fixed installations storage containers, storage rooms and warehouses, entrances to laboratories, and chemical processing equipment.

 

Figure A6 - 2


International labelling of dangerous goods

 

IMDG Code labels, marks and signs

 

Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elevated

temperature

mark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5- 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8- 9

 

Fumigation

warning sign
 

 *Insert details

as appropriate

 

 

 

 

Figure A6 - 1

 

 

USFA Hazardous Materials Guide for First Responders
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Fire Diamonds
(NFPA No. 704-1991)

 

Identification of Health Hazard
Color Code: BLUE

Identification of Flammability
Color Code: RED

Identification of Reactivity
Color Code: YELLOW


Type of Possible Injury

Susceptibility of Materials
to Burning


Susceptibility to Release of Energy

Signal

 

Signal

 

Signal

 

4

Materials that on very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury.

4

Materials that will rapidly or completely vaporize at atmospheric pressure and normal ambient temperature, or that are readily dispersed in air and that will burn readily.

4

Materials that in themselves are readily capable of detonation or of explosive decomposition or reaction at normal temperatures and pressures.

3

Materials that on short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury.

3

Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient temperature conditions.

3

Materials that in themselves are capable of detonation or explosive decomposition but require a strong initiating source or which must be heated under confinement before initiation or which react explosively with water.

2

Materials that on intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury.

2

Materials that must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high ambient temperatures before ignition can occur.

2

Materials that readily undergo violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures or which react violently with water or which may form explosive mixtures with water.

1

Materials that on exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury.

1

Materials that must be preheated before ignition can occur.

1

Materials that in themselves are normally stable, but which become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures.

0

Materials that on exposure under fire conditions would offer no hazard beyond that of ordinary combustible material.

0

Materials that will not burn.

0

Materials that in themselves are normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and which are not reactive with water.

Figure A6 - 3

 


USFA Hazardous Materials Guide for First Responders
First Responder Strategy Using the NFPA 704 Diamond
 

 

NFPA Reactivity Rating 0 - 1 (Rating 2 - 4 Defensive Only)

 

 

 

N

F

P

A

 

H

e

a

l

t

h

 

R

a

t

i

n

g

 

 

4

Defensive operation only.

Defensive operation only.

Defensive operation only.

Defensive operation only.

Defensive operation only.

 

 

3

Defensive operation only when materials identified and deemed safe.

Defensive operation only when materials identified and deemed safe.

Defensive operation only when materials identified and deemed safe.

Defensive operation only when materials identified and deemed safe.

Defensive operation only when materials identified and deemed safe.

 

 

 

2

Attack from safe distance in full SCBA. Decontaminate personnel/equipment thoroughly when complete.

Attack from safe distance in full SCBA. Decontaminate personnel/equipment thoroughly when complete.

Attack from safe distance in full SCBA. Decontaminate personnel/equipment thoroughly when complete.

Attack from safe distance in full SCBA. Decontaminate personnel/equipment thoroughly when complete.

Attack from safe distance in full SCBA. Decontaminate personnel/equipment thoroughly when complete. Consider extra attack lines.

 

 

1

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA. Decontaminate when finished.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA. Decontaminate when finished.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA. Decontaminate when finished.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA. Decontaminate when finished.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA. Decontaminate when finished. Consider extra attack lines.

 

 

0

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA.

Attack with full protective clothing and SCBA. Decontaminate when finished. Consider extra attack lines and master stream appliances.

 

0

1

2

3

4

NFPA Flammability Rating

Last Updated: November 3, 1998

Figure A6 - 4

 
 

The ADR Hazard Identification Number HIN

(“The Kemler Code”)

 

The ADR Hazard Identification Number HIN, also known as the Kemler Code,  is carried on placards on tank cars and tank containers running by road under international ADR regulations. Identification numbers are shown in such a way, that the upper number is indicating the danger and the lower number identifies the substances with the UN-number given in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

 

An orange blank placard without any numbers indicates vehicle carrying dangerous load (drums, packages, etc.) or multi-load tanker.

 

 

The ADR Hazard Identification Number HIN

(The Kemler Code)

 

 

The substance’s UN Number

 

Figure A6 - 5

 

 

The first figure of the Kemler Code

indicates the primary hazard:

 

The second and third figure

generally indicate

secondary hazards:

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

the hazard is adequately described by the first figure

2

gas

 

2

(flammable) gas may be given off

3

flammable liquid

 

3

fire risk

4

flammable solid

 

4

fire risk

5

oxidizing substance or organic peroxide

 

5

oxidizing risk

6

toxic substance

 

6

toxic risk

7

radioactive substance

 

 

 

8

corrosive substance

 

8

corrosive risk

9

miscellaneous/environmental hazard

 

9

risk of spontaneous, violent reaction

X

reacts dangerously with water

 

 

 

 

Doubling of a figure indicates an intensification of that particular hazard. Where the hazard associated with a substance can be adequately indicated by a single figure, this is followed by a zero.
 

If a hazard identification number is prefixed by letter 'X', this indicates that the substance will react dangerously with water.
 

The hazard identification number combinations have following meanings:

 

20

inert gas

22

refrigerated gas

223

refrigerated flammable gas

225

refrigerated oxidizing (fire-intensifying) gas

23

flammable gas

236

flammable gas, toxic

239

flammable gas, which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

25

oxidizing (fire-intensifying) gas

26

toxic gas

265

toxic gas, oxidizing (fire-intensifying)

266

highly toxic gas

268

toxic gas, corrosive

286

corrosive gas, toxic

30

flammable liquid or self-heating liquid

323

flammable liquid which reacts with water emitting flammable gases

X323

flammable liquid which reacts dangerously with water emitting flammable gases

33

highly flammable liquid (flash point below 21C)

333

pyrophoric liquid

X333

pyrophoric liquid which reacts dangerously with water

336

highly flammable liquid, toxic

338

highly flammable liquid, corrosive

X338

highly flammable liquid, corrosive, which reacts dangerously with water

339

highly flammable liquid, which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

36

self-heating liquid, toxic

362

flammable liquid, toxic

X362

flammable liquid, toxic, which reacts dangerously with water emitting flammable gases

38

self-heating liquid, corrosive

382

flammable liquid, corrosive, which reacts with water emitting flammable gases

X382

flammable liquid, corrosive, which reacts dangerously with water emitting flammable gases

39

flammable liquid, which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

40

flammable self-heating solid

423

solid, which reacts with water emitting flammable gases

X423

flammable solid, which reacts dangerously with water emitting flammable gases

44

flammable solid, in molten state, at elevated temperature

446

flammable solid, toxic, in molten state, at elevated temperature

46

flammable or self-heating solid, toxic

462

toxic solid, which reacts with water emitting flammable gases

48

flammable or self-heating solid, corrosive

482

corrosive solid, which reacts with water emitting flammable gases

50

oxidizing (fire-intensifying) substance

539

flammable organic peroxide

55

strongly oxidizing substance

556

strongly oxidizing substance, toxic

558

strongly oxidizing substance, corrosive

559

strongly oxidizing substance, which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

56

oxidizing substance, toxic

568

oxidizing substance, toxic, corrosive

58

oxidizing substance, corrosive

59

oxidizing substance which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

60

toxic or harmful substance

63

toxic or harmful substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C)

638

toxic or harmful substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C), corrosive

639

toxic or harmful substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C), which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

66

highly toxic substance

663

highly toxic substance (flash point not above 55C)

68

toxic or harmful substance, corrosive

69

toxic or harmful substance, which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

70

radioactive material

72

radioactive gas

723

radioactive gas, flammable

73

radioactive liquid, flammable (flash point not above 55C)

74

radioactive solid, flammable

75

radioactive material, oxidizing

76

radioactive material, toxic

78

radioactive material, corrosive

80

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance

X80

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, which reacts dangerously with water

83

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C)

X83

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C), , which reacts dangerously with water

839

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C), which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

X839

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C), which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction and which reacts dangerously with water

85

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, oxidizing (fire-intensifying)

856

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, oxidizing (fire-intensifying) and toxic

86

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, toxic

88

highly corrosive substance

X88

highly corrosive substance, which reacts dangerously with water

883

highly corrosive substance, flammable (flash point between 21C and 55C)

885

highly corrosive substance, oxidizing (fire-intensifying)

886

highly corrosive substance, toxic

X886

highly corrosive substance, toxic, which reacts dangerously with water

89

corrosive or slightly corrosive substance, which can spontaneously lead to violent reaction

90

miscellaneous dangerous substance

 

Last Updated: November 3, 1998

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