Toxic Sheltering with an Interior Room – Benefits and Precautions
Like most conferences in 2020, the Texas Chemical Council (TCC) canceled their 2020 Environmental, Health and Safety Seminar due to safety concerns around COVID-19. However, TCC is continuing to support industry via their new Summer Webinar Series. The series will be kicked-off by one of our Shelter-In-Place (SIP) experts, Anthony Sarrack, Principal Process Safety Consultant. Anthony will be presenting his topic, “Toxic Sheltering with an Interior Room – Benefits and Precautions” on Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 at 11:00 am CT.
Although an entire building may be designed as an SIP, there are critical safety issues that can be addressed with the implementation of an interior room serving as the shelter location, including the following:
- It is difficult to make a whole building extremely leak-tight,
- If a door is opened while the toxic cloud is present (a “late comer” arrives to seek shelter, for example), it can result in a dangerous increase in toxic gas within the building,
- Failure to isolate the HVAC system (stop fans and close dampers) prior to the toxic cloud or immediately upon toxic cloud impact can rapidly degrade the shelter’s atmosphere, and
- Building size and wind-driven forces on a building make it very difficult to reduce infiltration through building leak points.
This presentation explains how designating an interior room within the building as the toxic shelter helps to manage these and other challenges. It also identifies precautions essential to understand how the benefits of an interior shelter room can be lost if not properly designed.