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Bio/Chem Agent HVAC Procedures

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  • Bio/Chem Agent HVAC Procedures

    Very good site HERE discussing building protection from bio/chem agent releases - both precautionary steps to take before an event to minimize opportunities for access, etc....and what to do during an event if one should happen. If you work in or around commercial/industrial buildings, etc. and you don't know how to shut down HVAC, throw it into "recirculate" mode, etc., you should find out why this sort of thing isn't covered in your post orders.

    Note the BVAMP Assessment Software and documentation that is downloadable from this page.
    Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-15-2007, 07:18 PM.
    "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

    "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

    "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

    "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

  • #2
    Quote from article:
    "A release into one or more of the building's air intakes is also possible. Shutting off the air supply for any area that is known to be contaminated, and putting that area on full exhaust, is good advice whether the release is in the air intake or indoors." End Quote

    When I was doing disaster restoration for a company in So Fl. one of the worst things people would do mostly after a fire or chemical spill was to turn the AC AKA HVAC unit on high. This is a total misconception. Sure it will remove the contaminates out of the point of incident to all other rooms on the duct system. Not only does that spread the fumes and soot to other areas that were not initially effected causing enormous jump in the cost of the claim but endangering others that normally would not be effected. The above is good and correct information. Although on some huge complicated systems it may make more sense to get hold of a maint person ASAP to do the technical aspects. One wrong push of a button could kill a lot of people that other wise would not be harmed.
    Last edited by Chucky; 11-16-2007, 06:20 PM.
    THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A 911 CALL IS FOUR MINUTES
    THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A .357 MAGNUM ROUND IS 1400 FEET PER SECOND?
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    • #3
      Very good advice to seek the aid of a maintenance person who is knowledgeable about configuring the HVAC system, which can be very complicated. As Chucky notes, pushing the wrong button can be disastrous.

      Unfortunately, the maintenance people at the vast majority of sites will not be trained in selecting which "emergency configuration" is appropriate for a particular type of chem/bio/nuke release. In that case, they should act only under your direction, if you are handling the immediate emergency response, as to which configuration you want them to set up.

      This is the kind of thing that is worthy of a drill or two well before the fact, too.
      "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

      "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

      "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

      "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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      • #4
        Gentlemen during some surveys it has been my sad experience to see and learn firsthand many building owners/managers have no clue as to the potential danger air handlers play in the event a gas or other contaminate is introduced into the building through air intakes.
        Even more distrubing was the fact facilities engineers/technicians/morons/yardbirds do not know where the emergency shutoff controls are located or the use of emergency exhaust systems individually or structure wide.
        SecTrainer thank you for posting that information as it made for an interesting read, akin to a tutorial.
        Enjoy the day,
        Bill

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        • #5
          Last large building I worked security at had ashfall/chem/bio protocols.

          Real easy. Turn the buildings HVAC system on manual Fire mode.

          That shut EVERYTHING down.. since chances are it was going to require a full evacuation. There were a few manual breakers that had to be thrown as well, but that was all part of new guard training.
          Overmotivated and Underpaid... I'm a Security supervisors wet dream...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Alaska Security View Post
            Last large building I worked security at had ashfall/chem/bio protocols.

            Real easy. Turn the buildings HVAC system on manual Fire mode.

            That shut EVERYTHING down.. since chances are it was going to require a full evacuation. There were a few manual breakers that had to be thrown as well, but that was all part of new guard training.
            Very good to hear that, AS. Enlightened building and security management in your case!

            Unfortunately, I'd say the majority of security officers have not been trained in this topic, and are working in buildings where proper HVAC release procedures are missing from their post orders. In many cases, proper procedures have not been developed by building maintenance, either.
            "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

            "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

            "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

            "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

            Comment

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