It is estimated that there are at least 10 new chemicals created every day by scientists around the world. Most of these new chemicals will never create any problems for the general public. However, some can be very dangerous and are regulated as hazardous materials. In addition to other local, state and federal agencies, all fire agencies, including North Metro Fire Rescue District, are concerned about the safe storage and use of hazardous materials.
Part of the Fire Prevention Division’s function is the inspection of businesses that use any hazardous materials. The main goal of these inspections is the prevention of potential problems. Through inspection and adherence to internationally accepted safe practices for storage and handling of hazardous materials, the fire district is able to help businesses and their employees remain safe which, in turn, helps keep the community and citizens safe as well.
There are several entities involved in the safe use and handling of these chemicals. First and foremost is the business community. Businesses are the first line of defense in preventing the release of hazardous materials. By recognizing the potential effects of hazardous materials and using appropriate reporting methods, businesses can safely use such chemicals. Second, are public agencies such as the fire district and the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). Armed with the knowledge that certain businesses utilize hazardous chemicals, the fire district and the LEPC can develop and enact emergency plans to help businesses operate safely. That way, in the unfortunate event that there is an accidental release of a hazardous chemical, local emergency responders are able to more effectively handle and mitigate the problem.
Through business inspections and pre-planning, the fire district can ensure a safe business environment while at the same time providing the business to operate as desired.
For more information regarding the reporting of hazardous materials, you may contact North Metro Fire’s Fire Prevention Division at (720) 887-8217. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains a searchable website which lists chemicals considered to be hazardous and reportable to the LEPC and fire agencies.
The State of Colorado also maintains a website allowing businesses to manually or electronically report these chemicals.