Sodium hydroxide is an odorless and non-flammable white solid. A powerful corrosive, it is water-reactive to the degree that when it dissolves in water, enough heat is generated to ignite ordinary combustible materials. Sodium hydroxide is soluble in water and has a specific gravity of 2.13.
Ethylene oxide, a suspected carcinogenic, is a colorless liquid with a flash point of -4°F that is extremely volatile, producing tremendous amounts of flammable vapor. Its boiling point, 51°F, is so low that if unconfined, it will boil away rapidly at room temperature.
Usually a white solid that is very soluble in water, ammonium nitrate is principally used as a fertilizer—but, once involved in an incident, can present many serious hazards. PROPERTIES/APPEARANCE There are many grades of ammonium nitrate and, depending on the additives that may be present, the color can vary from off-white to brown.
Vinyl chloride, a colorless flammable gas that is always shipped in its easily liquified state, is primarily used in the polymerization of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), the second highest volume plastic in the United States (polyethylene is the largest volume of plastic).
A liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) explosion that occurred in Whitefish, MT, was the topic of discussion in the hazardous materials course at the Mississippi Fire Academy in Jackson last December 4. Shortly after the class adjourned, another LPG explosion occurred— two miles from the academy in Pearl, MS.
Six hours after a new 1982 propaneoperated sedan was put in service at the Audubon, N.J., Police Department, vapors in the passenger compartment ignited, seriously injuring Corporal Larry Nicely, the police officer operating the vehicle. The police department acquired the vehicle last October and immediately had it equipped with a dual fuel system so that the car could be operated with either gasoline or propane.
In a project designed to show the values of pre-fire planning for hazardous material emergencies, many perplexing concerns which have plagued the fire service for years were clearly depicted and certain new concepts were disclosed. The project was simple, accurate and most rewarding while it pointed out serious shortcomings or misgivings which are assumed to exist throughout the fire service.
Last February 10, our department received a call that a trailer which was parked in a driveway had exploded. Our investigation revealed that a small propane bottle attached to the front of the travel trailer had split at the seam, causing minor damage to the trailer.
An explosion caused by a propane gas leak leveled a two-story house and killed a 13-year-old girl in Putnam Valley, N.Y. At 8:25 p.m., Saturday, August 31, 1974, the Putnam Valley emergency services dispatcher received a telephone report of an explosion in the vicinity of Bell Hollow Road.
An 11,000-gallon liquefied propane storage tank explosion and fire killed four persons, including three fire fighters, destroyed or damaged three large apartment buildings and left 226 families homeless in suburban West St. Paul, Minn, last January 11.