United States
   Environmental Protection
Office of Solid Waste
and Emergency Response
April 2001

   Work with your  Local  Fire Department
   to  Enhance Community Safety:
   The Gary Company
   The  Chemical Safety  Network  is designed  to  share  successful practices  in
   implementation, risk communication, and data use.  The projects detailed in  the
   Chemical Safety Network are easily reproducible, low cost and promote partnership-
   building in the community. This factsheet does not provide extensive information about
   a project. Rather, it is intended to help stakeholders generate ideas, identify tools and
   pinpoint funding sources for accident preparedness and prevention initiatives.
   Project Overview

   The Gary Company stores and distributes chemicals and other products to
   facilities that use or make paint and coatings, printing ink, plastics, and rubber.
   Some of the chemicals stored onsite include resins, driers, liquid latex,
   pigments and extenders. The company has 45 employees and has not had any
   previous chemical incidents.

   When the Gary Company decided to add a 140,000 square foot building at
   their Addison, Illinois, warehousing facility, company officials immediately
   turned to the local fire department for help. The partnership was beneficial to
   both groups: the Addison Fire Department learned more about warehouse
   operations, which helps them prepare to respond should an accident occur; and
   the Gary Company would benefit as fire codes would be strictly adhered to
   during the design and building phases of the project. The project was
   beneficial to the town of 32,000 individuals through the enhancement of fire


   National Fire Protection Association code allows various options when
   designing a chemical distribution warehouse. However the designer must make
   certain that the design conforms to the applicable standards. JThere were many
   issues that factored into the design of the Hazardous Materials room. The
   HAZMAT room was designed to safely store hazardous and flammable
   materials. This was done correctly through steady coordination between
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           designers, the Gary Company and the fire department. In the HAZMAT room
           there are two sprinkler systems, a foam suppression system and an early
           suppression system which is designed to spray twice the amount of water a
           normal fire protection sprinkler yields. In addition to the sprinkler systems the
           HAZMAT room was constructed with a dyke to contain any spills within the

           The Gary Company had to be sure they met their own needs while following
           the NFPA code in the design, to ensure the highest level of safety.

           When the Gary Company built their new facility much of the equipment was
           designed to exceed fire code requirements to insure protection for personnel
           and property. The warehouse is equipped with heat sensors, 11 hose stations,
           54 fire extinguishers, and a fire protection room. The fire protection room is
           self-contained  with a dedicated alarm, phone line and electrical circuits.

           The Addison Fire Department keeps a key to the fire protection room so
           emergency responders have 24-hour access  to: Material Safety Data sheets,
           maps showing electrical power switches and emergency contact phone
           numbers. Although, the Gary Company has  not had any previous accidents the
           company still considers that this project has reduced the likelihood of
           accidents. The company's main concern is safety. Accidents may happen, but
           the design of this HAZMAT room allows any accidental releases or fires to be
           dealt with quickly, thereby reducing the potential  for any injuries or off-site

           Continuing Partnerships

           The partnership between the facility and the local fire department has
           continued to enhance community safety and improve fire service training
           activities.  New fire service recruits visit the warehousing operation routinely
           to learn  about the  chemicals that are  stored,  see what protection measures are
           in place, and familiarize themselves about the hazards of warehouse

           The Gary Company donated $2,000 to the fire department to buy a special
           hazardous materials cart. The HAZMAT cart has communications equipment
           and is equipped to repair holes in storage containers, decontaminate and

           Company employees  participate in fire department training to learn more about
           the safe handling of hazardous materials. The facility is also working with
           other local businesses that are planning building additions to educate them
           about fire codes and other fire safety issues.
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            Cost Savings

            The partnership helped to trim the company's bottom line by tackling design
            flaws early on.  Company officials estimate that $100,000
            was saved by forming this partnership.


            Companies should support and cooperate with the local fire department to
            ensure compliance with fire codes and fire safety programs. Companies
            should share emergency response needs with the fire department to build
            consensus, prepare firefighters, and ensure the company's and community's
            For more information contact.
            Name:        David Meehan
            Organization:  The Gary Company
            Address:      1195 West Fullerton Ave, Addison, IL 60101
            E-mail:        davemeehan@mindspring.com
            Phone:        (603) 629-6600
             Additional copies of this and other publications in the Chemical Safety Network series are
             available from:

                    National Service Center for Environmental Publications
                    Phone: (800)490-9198
                    Fax: (513)489-8695
                    Email: ncepi.mail@epamail.epa.gov

             or you can download an electronic copy from the Chemical Emergency Preparedness
             and Prevention Office's web site on the Internet at http://www.epa/gov/ceppo.
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