Fires, Chemical and Biological Agents

Chemical and Biological Agents
Biological agents are organisms or toxins. They may cause illness, be difficult to detect, take time to grow and cause a disease.
For more information
Visit the Centers for Disease control web site at
Chemical agents are poisonous gases, liquids and solids that cause injuries.


Before an Emergency
(see here)

  • Determine possible hazards in community.
  • Learn how to deal with them.
  • For more information visit the library or web sites listed on home safety emergency plan.
  • Be alert and aware of your surrounding area.
  During an Emergency
  (see here)
  • Listen to your radio or T.V.
  • If you hear a siren, turn on radio or T.V.
  • Follow instructions of local officials carefully. Your life may depend on it.
  • Do not touch, smell or move an agent if found. Call 911 or fire dept.
  • Move away from area and help others leave. Stay upwind, uphill, upstream.

If Exposed

  • After leaving the area, remove all clothing, jewelry, and glasses. Seal in bag.
  • Wash hands, then wash body with soap if available. Avoid hard scrub. Blot dry, don't rub.
  • Minimize exposure through time by moving away quickly; distance by moving uphill, upwind, or upstream; shielding by finding shelter. Protective clothing will reduce exposure.
  • Obtain medical attention immediately if affected by a chemical or biological agent. Some biological agents are contagious.
"Shelter-in-Place" is a method to help keep contaminated air out of your home. When advised, immediately follow these steps.

  • Go inside, bring pets in if possible
  • Seal house so contaminants cannot enter. (Close and lock windows, doors, fireplaces. Turn off ventilation systems such as heating, air conditioning, fans, stove, dryer, etc. Use duct tape and plastic to seal windows, doors, vents, electrical outlets and holes around pipes and fixtures.)
  • Go to above-ground room (not basement) with fewest windows/doors.
  • Listen to the radio or T.V.
  • Avoid using phone, if possible.
  • Unless in immediate danger do not leave unless instructed.
  • Make "go packs" in case of evacuation (see emergency supplies).
  • If evacuating use routes suggested by authorities. If possible go uphill, upwind.
Escaping from Fire

Plan Ahead & Practice Drills

  • Practice escaping. Get down on hands/knees. Crawl to exit.
  • Plan 2 escape routes from each room and the neighborhood.
  • Practice Stop, Drop and Roll drills with family so everyone knows how to put out a fire.

Escaping from a Building

  • If you smell/see smoke or fire, get out quickly, then call fire department.
  • Before opening door, feel door quickly with back of hand.

    • If door is hot, go out another exit. (Room is probably on fire.)
    • If door is cool, kneel down and check air coming in under the door. If air is cool, the room may be safe to enter.
    • When opening door, kneel and open it a little with face turned away from opening. Listen/smell for fire and smoke.
  • Close all windows and doors behind you when leaving.
  • Crawl low under smoke to escape.
  • Use stairway, not elevator.

If you Cannot Escape Quickly

  • Protect yourself with cloth around hands and face.
  • Place a wet towel at bottom of door to prevent smoke from entering.
  • After placing wet towel, open window slightly. Hang something out window to attract attention. Leave window open slightly. Get down low for ventilation.

Evacuating from neighborhood, Apartment or Wild Fires.

  • Park car facing directly of escape.
  • Take your Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Take into consideration special needs of children, etc.
    (See Children, Pets, Service Providers, Reunion and Special Needs, Health Care Providers)
  • Arrange for temporary housing with a friend outside threatened area.
  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Take route away from fire.
  • Wear protective clothing, gloves, goggles, a cloth over face.
  • Leave a light on. Tell someone where you're going.
  • Get out of building or area first, then call for help from another place.
  • Never go back inside a burning building.
  • If you have time, take a step to reduce chance of home catching fire.

City Hall Contact

701 E Carson Street
Carson, CA 90745
(310) 830-7600, 7 AM - 6 PM
Monday - Thursday
24-hour automated: (310) 952-1700


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