Emergency Response Procedures: Explosions

Not every explosion is a bomb or a terrorist attack, even if we often leap to that conclusion when seeing something in the news. A lot of explosions are the result of infrastructure or utility failures, mishandled combustible materials, or common accidents. They are as common as they are mundane and this makes them all the more likely.

Regardless of the cause, these jarring events can cause significant confusion and having a measured and appropriate response is the best way to minimize damage and loss of life. There are a lot of elements at play during these events that you might not have considered.

Below are tips taken from our Emergency Response Procedures guide book, which is available at no cost to all CSD Pool members.

In the event of an explosion:
1. Remain calm and do not panic

2. Immediately take cover under a table, desk, or other solid object to protect against falling objects or glass

3. After the initial explosion has subsided, call 911 immediately

4. If possible, unless one is already sounding, pull a fire alarm

5. Assess whether evacuation of your building is possible or safe and conduct an orderly evacuation, careful not to use any elevators and not stopping to collect any personal belongings and remember:

✓ Stay clear of the building and mind debris and glass

✓ Avoid dust, it may contain very dangerous particles

✓ Cover your face with a shirt to avoid inhaling dust

✓ Use a flashlight or tap pipes to signal your location

✓ Avoid shouting, you’ll just inhale smoke and dust

6. If your facility has gas pumps which have not been compromised, deactivate them immediately

7. Keep street clear for emergency vehicles

8. Do not return to any evacuated buildings until the fire department and police department have authorized the return

9. Notify your insurer of the incident and direct media inquiries to management or district spokesperson

For a free copy of our guide book on coping with a crisis, check out our publications page.

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