A fire crew respond to an incident at a chemicals factory. Many hazardous substances are on site and the incident has resulted in injuries. The crew assess the situation, establish the danger zone and don their protective hazmat suits. These emergency responders risk their own lives to rescue injured workers and contain the situation.

But, what protects the emergency responders? How do fire fighters and other first responders ensure they're not exposed to the same hazardous substances?

A decontamination zone with showers is essential at an incident involving harmful chemicals.

The zone should be set up at the border of the area and must be positioned upwind to keep people safe from further chemical releases. The slope of the land must be taken note of to ensure that any water runoff does not contaminate the area on the safe side of the zone.

Everyone leaving the incident area should pass through a decontamination process, where safety showers can remove all traces of hazardous chemicals. This prevents chemicals on a hazmat suit from getting onto the skin of an emergency responder.

Decontamination Process

Exposure to hazardous chemicals, nuclear radiation or biological agents require proactive decontamination solutions.

These incidents can occur as workplace accidents but emergency responders must also prepare for large-scale terrorist attacks.

Portable Decontamination Showersportaflex shower in action decontaminating person in PPE equipment

Portable decontamination showers offer the simplest solution for decontamination. Deployed in under a minute, the PORTAflex 300-16e decontamination shower provides emergency relief for casualties and allows emergency responders to wash hazardous materials off their protective clothing before removal.

The triangular shape of the three hose legs ensures 360-degree decontamination. The legs also become rigid under pressure to supply the 16 nozzles with water. The carrying case is compact and rugged, whilst doubling as a base platform on assembly.

The PORTAflex CUPOLA inflatable shelter, provides for the containment of contaminated water. The simplest models feature an entrance opening on the "dirty" side and an exit door on the "clean" side. Replaceable inner linings with windows enable observation of the casualty during the decontamination process. The Cupola shelter has an inflatable frame for easy assembly.

To view our full range of emergency response solutions, click here.

Contact Hughes Safety to learn more about decontamination showers or to receive a quote. Our sales team can advise you on the best solution for your application as well as the regulatory requirements that are relevant to your industry.

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