Hazardous Materials Spills or Releases

A hazardous material, by definition, is "any element, compound or substance that poses an unreasonable risk to health or property and which, because of handling, storage, processing or packaging, may have detrimental effects on emergency personnel, the public, equipment and/or the environment."

The City of Haverhill Fire-Rescue Department responds to all Hazardous Materials (HazMat) calls in the city. The most common types of HazMat calls the Fire Department responds to involve gasoline spills and chemical spills.  Common household calls often involve BBQ grill propane tanks and natural or propane gas leaks in pipes or appliances. Upon arrival the Fire Department is responsible for determining the extent of the incident and the appropriate level of response to safely mitigate the situation. When necessary the Haverhill Fire Department may call upon a regional Hazardous Materials response team to assist with containment and cleanup.

What to Do in a Hazardous Materials Incident

  • If you witness a hazardous materials incident, call 911.
  • Avoid the incident site to minimize risk of contamination.
  • If you are caught outside during an incident, try to stay upstream, uphill, and upwind.
  • If you are in a car, close the windows and shut off ventilation.
  • Follow instructions given by emergency authorities.