Chemical, Biological, Radiological (CBR) or Hazardous Material Event

In today’s world, we have a heightened awareness of the emerging threat of terrorism by unconventional weapons. The most dangerous forms of these weapons are often the most difficult to manufacture, transport and weaponize because they are volatile, difficult to produce and employ. The response to an incident involving chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) agents is similar to any other incident involving hazardous materials.


  • Strange or pungent odor
  • An explosion in or near the building
  • Unusual noise, such as the release of gas under pressure near the building
  • Irritation of the eyes or respiratory tract
  • People exhibiting nausea, collapse, choking, or other signs of exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Finding a spray devise in or near the building, including pressurized cylinders, battery- powered pump and nozzle, container of liquid, gas or powder
  • Suspicious parcel left unattended in a building or near its intakes
  • Smoke or an unnatural fog
  • A spill of an unknown material in or near a building

The response to an incident involving CBR agents is the same as an incident involving hazardous materials. The movement of air can spread unconventional weapons and hazardous materials. The local authorities will direct our response. However, here are some general guidelines to consider. If an incident occurs inside the building the local authorities may isolate the area around the contaminant and evacuate occupants from the area. If the incident occurs outside the building the local authorities may order a “Shelter in Place” directive and ask you to stay indoors because they believe that the air outside is contaminated.



  1. Move away from the contaminant to a safe location and call 911.
  2. Provide the dispatcher with the following information:
    • Name
    • Type of Emergency
    • Company Name
    • Physical Building Address [not building name]
    • Floor and Suite Number
    • Telephone Number
    • Location of Substance
    • Description of Substance
    • Amount of Substance and Size of Contaminated Area
    • Odor
    • Symptoms
    • Injuries
  3. Listen to the dispatcher for any additional instructions before hanging up.
  4. Remain calm.
    • Isolate the object, area and those exposed
    • Evacuate the area, move occupants up wind at least 1,000 feet away from the contaminated site, closing doors as you move away.
  5. Notify the local authorities Watertown Police (617) 972-6500. Control access to the contaminated area, keep others away from the contaminant.
  6. Isolate individuals who came in contact with the contaminant.
  7. Individuals who may have been exposed to the contaminated should undress and flush with water, and take a shower with soap and water as soon as possible.
  8. A partial or full evacuation, or shelter in place directive may be ordered by the local authorities.
  9. Building Management will call each tenant’s primary contact to inform him or her of the incident.

If danger is unsubstantiated and local authorities do not recommend further action, the building may remain open for business. Building Management may call each tenant’s primary contact to inform him or her of the incident. It is up to each individual tenant, to decide independently whether to evacuate the building or remain open for business. If the building remains open and your company chooses to close and evacuate the building, please notify Building Security so there is a record that your suite is empty. This information will be important if the incident escalates.

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