Site Plan Guideline for First Response to Hazmat Incidents


The purpose of this Guideline is to help ensure that the communication of information required to safely and effectively deal with site incidents involving hazardous materials is readily available to the Toronto Fire Services and other First Responders.


The provision of information listed below is recommended for all commercial and industrial facilities that handle, use or store hazardous products. Information additional to that list below will be required in some instances.

Hazardous materials include those that are:

Environmentally deleterious,
Compressed or Liquefied Gases,
Radioactive and/or
Substances whose products of combustion are any of the above.

Suggested Information Required

The following information should be shown on the site plan of at least 24” x 36” in size:

Control Points, including Emergency Shut Off Devices for All Services (Natural Gas, Electricity, Steam, Refrigeration Systems, Containment Systems, Sewers (both Storm and Septic),

Fire Suppression Equipment, including Hydrants, Fire Water Pumps, Sprinkler Risers, Foam Systems and Portable Fire Fighting Equipment (Hoses & Extinguishers),

Chemical Storage Locations indicated with the appropriate symbols for the Chemicals as prescribed under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act,
Access Point and Routes

Critical Hazards of a Hazmat Incident or Fire.

Multiple Levels of a structure should be shown inset on the same drawing, to the extent that site size and complexity will allow.

An 8½” x 11 Contact List should be attached to the top right-hand corner of the site plan. Home, Office and Mobile Numbers of key personnel who will be able to provide significant information to the First Responders is to be listed. These may include the following:
Plant Manager(s) and Supervisor(s);
Environmental Health & Safety Personnel;
Incident Commanders or Team Leaders;
Technical Advisors;
Emergency Response Contractors, who are familiar with the Company and its Products.
It is recommended that the Site Plan and Contact List be Laminated to improve durability and ensure legibility in inclement weather.

Plan Location

The Site Plan and Contact List’s location should be discussed with your local fire department. Applicable MSDS sheets should also be made available to the First Responders.


The Initial Site Plan and Contact List should be discussed with the First Responders when completed.


Information contained in the Site Plan or Contact List should be update as changes are made and a review process set up to ensure that the Site Plan and Contact List are current. This should be done at least quarterly.

Decontamination at 30° Below

By Chris M. J. Edwards

For firefighters and chemical company employees, Canadian winters can turn a difficult job into a life and death situation. Imagine being hosed down in 30 below temperatures after coming in contact with a hazardous chemical. Chemical injury or hypothermia. It’s a case where the cure is almost as deadly as the disease.

Four years ago, the West Hill CAER Group and the Scarborough Fire Department decided that the answer was a self-contained Decontamination Vehicle. The unit would aid firefighters with on the spot decontamination and transfer contaminated personnel to hospital. Since most hospitals are not set up for either decontamination or the containment of contaminants, the unit would defuse potentially serious contamination situations, one of the most serious concerns in the Emergency Response Community.

The need for a Decontamination Vehicle was undisputed. It came, however, with a price tag – $110,000 to meet fire service requirements. The funds simply weren’t available so the CAER Group turned to its members for help. At the same time, the Joint Emergency Preparedness Organization offered a federal grant of $40,000. But the J.E.P.P. grant had a time limit. By the time the West Hill CAER had raised $34,000, well short of its goal, time was running out.

Since the upcoming amalgamation of fire services in the new Toronto ‘mega-city’ would make the unit available to a far larger community, the West Hill CAER Group met with other local CAER Groups to appeal for funds. Based on the outreach aspects of Responsible Distributionâ, and Responsible Careâ, the CACD and the CCPA got behind the new appeal and members committed an additional $40,000.

In mid 1998, the order for the vehicle was placed. By April 1999, after some adjustments to meet requirements of the new amalgamated Fire Services, the unit was ready for service.

Representatives of many of the contributing companies attended the dedication on May 10th at the Fire Services Headquarters on

Dufferin Street
to hear Chief Alan Speed deliver a well-deserved vote of thanks. The vehicle carries the name of all the contributors: the CACD’s Responsible Distributionâ and CCPA’s Responsible Careâ logos on the rear doors; and a statement that says: This Vehicle Sponsored by Donations from the Toronto Area Chemical Industry and a Federal J.E.P.P. grant.

The decontamination unit is based at Station 16 in the Dufferin/Sheppard area (visits can be arranged through the Fire Services). While it is manned by Toronto Fire Services, because of the J.E.P.P. grant, it will actually serve communities up to 100kms from Toronto .

This unit will probably be dispatched up to 100 times a year and will be on the road whenever the Hazmat unit is called to a chemical incident. In the first 3 weeks at the fire station, despite on-going training and familiarization, the unit was used twice for decontamination at Hazmat incidents.

Printed in the August ’99 edition of The Chemunicator