Major industrial accidents

A major industrial accident is a serious event that occurs in a factory or warehouse, with consequences for the surrounding environment. Depending on the nature and quantity of the products involved, the accident can take the form of a fire, an explosion or the emission of poisonous or radioactive material.

In case of industrial accident, several actions are important:

Ask for information

Ask for information from your municipality about industrial risks in your area, the emergency plans in force and how residents would be alerted in the event of an accident.

Follow instructions in the event of an alert or an accident

On site or in the vicinity of the accident, quickly move away from hazards such as fire, smoke, the smell of gas, unpleasant fumes, and so on, and encourage other people to do so.

In the event of an alert or an accident, follow the instructions of authorities. Such instructions vary depending on the nature of the event, for example, take shelter in a building if doing so offers sufficient protection or evacuate the affected zone when taking shelter does not offer protection.

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Take shelter

If you are instructed to take shelter:

  • Take refuge in the closest building.
  • Bring your pets into the house, if possible.
  • Close doors, windows, shutters and blinds.
  • Seal openings and air intakes with wet towels, plastic film and masking tape.
  • Turn off heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and the air exchanger.
  • Move away from windows (the centre of the house and the basement offer the best protection).
  • Obtain information from the radio or television.
  • Do not telephone in order to avoid jamming the network, except to obtain medical assistance (Info-Santé 811, Centre antipoison du Québec [1 800 463‑5060] or 911).
  • Do not get your children at school or the day care centre since they are sheltered and safe.
  • Do not take shelter in your automobile. Only use it to quickly move away from the source of danger.
  • Do not attempt to return to your home if you have taken shelter elsewhere. In public places such as a shopping centre, staff on site, the police or firefighters ensure your safety.

Hazardous materials may be present in your environment. They are sometimes undetectable because they are invisible or odourless. Take shelter for as long as the authorities ask you to and consult the media in your area.

Evacuate the affected area as instructed

If the authorities require you to do so or if you feel that your safety is jeopardized by fire, smoke, the smell of gas, unpleasant fumes, and so on, evacuate your home.

Pay attention to the other instructions

In the event of a major industrial accident, other instructions may be given, for example regarding the consumption of water or food (when contaminants are present), individual protection, or the appropriate first aid measures. These instructions are important. Pay attention to them.

Know what to do after a disaster

Consult the After a disaster section to learn instructions and recommendations for getting back to normal in a safe manner.

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