Before using hazardous products or chemicals in your home, it is very important to thoroughly read the product label for proper handling instructions. Many hazardous products require a well-ventilated atmosphere and can be highly flammable and toxic.
While working with a hazardous product at home that you are not familiar with, the best defence is to be overly cautious.
Disposing of household chemicals or residential hazardous materials
If you are unsure how to dispose of a household chemical or residential hazardous material, call 311 (from within Calgary) or 403-268-2489 (from outside Calgary) for information on our household chemical drop-off program.
Transporting household chemicals
When transporting unwanted household chemicals to a designated fire station, remember to make sure all materials are well marked and if possible, in their original containers with secure lids.
Storage of household chemicals
If chemicals must be stored in the home for a short term, it’s critical to store them safely and properly until they can be deposited at a designated depot.
When should you call 9-1-1 for a household spill
If you spill a household hazardous material or chemical in your home and you are unable to safely clean it up because of the any of the following reasons, leave immediately and call 9-1-1 from a safe place.
- The situation seems too dangerous
- You are experiencing physical distress
- You are experiencing health symptoms related to the spill
- You do not have the recommended safety clothing and/or equipment available
- The leak is flowing toward sewer openings or other water drains
What you will need to tell 9-1-1
When you call 9-1-1
, the emergency dispatch operator will ask a number of questions regarding the situation. Be prepared to answer as many of the following questions that describe the situation:
- What is the nature of the problem?
- What is the substance toxic or hazardous?
- If a container or vehicle is involved, is there a name or placard on the vehicle or container?
- What color, shape, number or symbol is on the placard or label?
- Is it a solid liquid or gas?
- Does it have a smell or odour?
- Is it having an effect on people or things?
- How much has leaked?
- How fast is it leaking?
- Is it flowing toward sewer openings or a reservoir?
- What was it contained in?
- Are you or anyone else in the immediate vicinity of the situation?
- Are you able to stay nearby at a safe distance to meet fire department personnel?
Be sure to follow the directions given by the dispatcher until help arrives. Directions include watching for the arrival of the Fire Department and directing firefighters to the problem area.