Press Release - Wednesday, April 12, 2023
April is Hazardous Materials Safety Month
Springfield - Hazardous materials are incredibly dangerous, but the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) remains vigilant in tracking all HAZMAT incidents in Illinois.
"The IEMA Hazardous Materials Unit constantly monitors reports of releases or spills," explained IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. "In addition, IEMA partners with the Illinois Fire Service
Institute (ISFI) in offering guidance and hazardous materials training (https://www.fsi.illinois.edu/content/courses/programs/detail/?program=24) to all businesses and organizations in Illinois."
IEMA also works with Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), first responders, and emergency managers to inform the public about hazardous materials located at over 8,600 active Tier II chemical facilities throughout Illinois.
"Chemicals are used every day, from detergents to fuel to medicines to food preservatives," said Tate-Nadeau. "We have thousands of entities across the state that produce and store these chemicals and that's the reason we prepare for potential chemical releases."
Below are some tips on how to properly handle household chemicals from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):
- Follow the instructions on the label for use and storage.
- Don't mix products. This can cause deadly gases or a fire.
- Store products in their original containers.
- Store anything that can catch on fire away from your home.
- Only fill portable gasoline containers outdoors. Make sure to place the container on the ground before you fill it.
- Never store materials that can cause a fire in the sun or near an open flame or heat source.
- Store hazardous materials out of the reach of children and pets.
- Use safety locks and guardrails on shelves and cabinets when you store materials. This will prevent them from falling or tipping.
- Wear gloves or goggles when you use these materials.
To track chemical spills and releases in Illinois, visit IEMA's Hazardous Materials Incident Reports database: https://public.iema.state.il.us/FOIAHazmatSearch/
Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): www.Ready.Illinois.gov