Emergency Response Guidebook (1996 version)

This guidebook was developed for use by firefighters, police, and emergency services personnel. It provides information on numbered guide sheets for initial actions at a hazardous materials incident. Proper guide numbers are selected by using:

  1. The four-digit ID number on the placard, orange label or on shipping papers.
  2. The proper shipping name of a material.
  3. A placard or part of a placard.

The DOT Guidebook is divided into three main parts:
Yellow pages.............................List materials in numerical order.
Blue pages...............................List materials in alphabetic order.
Orange Top pages.........................Emergency guides.
Green Top pages ........Evacuation/Isolation Distances for the first 30 minutes if not fire.

Guide 11

When using the DOT Emergency Response Guidebook, if you fail to identify the material by either name or ID number, you may be able to match a placard or label to the ones in the back of the Guidebook. If you have no information as to the type of hazard, use guide number 11.

NFPA Guide on Hazardous Materials

The NFPA Guide on Hazardous Materials is four books or pamphlets contained in one manual. They can be acquired as separate documents but complement each other and so are normally purchases in book (set) form. Each of the sections are numbered as follows:

  1. 325M Fire Hazard Properties of Flammable Liquids, Gases, Volatile Solids
  2. 49 Hazardous Chemicals DATA
  3. 491M Manual of Hazardous Chemical Reactions
  4. 704 Identification System, Fire Hazards of Materials


OSHA requires that all manufacturers of hazardous materials must provide all buyers of the materials with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). These data sheets must include information on the following:

TO FIND OUT A CHEMICALS PHYSICAL AND HEALTH HAZARDS, LOOK UP THE CHEMICAL ALPHABETICALLY IN THE National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)'s "Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards." This document is useful for determining Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for listed chemicals to assure safe working conditions on longer term cleanups.