Guidance for Radiation Accident Management


Basics of Radiation



Safety Around Radiation Sources

Types of Radiation Exposure

Managing Radiation Emergencies

How do you manage emergencies?

Guidance for Prehospital Emergency Services

Introduction || Guidelines || Hazard Identification || Control Zone || Emergency Medical Management || Responding to a Fire || Responding to a Spill || Responding to a Nuclear Weapons Accident


General Guidelines for Responding to a Fire*

Consult the DOT Emergency Response Guidebook.

  • Some materials may react with water or water vapor in air to form a hazardous vapor.
  • Small Fires: Dry chemical, CO2, Halon, water spray, or regular foam.
    Large Fires: Water spray, fog, or regular foam.
  • Move undamaged containers from fire area if you can do it without risk. Do not touch damaged containers.
  • Cool containers that are exposed to flames with water from the side until well after fire is out.
  • Fight fire as if toxic chemicals are involved. To the extent possible, keep upwind and avoid smoke, fumes, gases, and dusts.
  • For massive fire in cargo area, use unmanned hose holder or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.
  • Stay away from ends of tanks. Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from a venting safety device or if there is discoloration of tanks due to fire. Fight fires from maximum distance.
  • Delay cleanup until radiation authority provides guidance.
  • As much as possible, form barrier to contain fire, water that may be contaminated with radioactive, and/or other chemicals.

    Use established fire-fighting procedures and protocols. Radioactivity does not change flammability or other properties of materials.

    *Adapted from DOT Emergency Response Guidebook.

Next | REAC/TS Home