Many hazardous substances are used in manufacturing and other business activities as well as around the house.
Hazardous substances are an essential part of our daily lives - dishwasher detergents, methylated spirits, bleaches and petrol can all be dangerous or poisonous.
Spills and leaks of hazardous substances may require some emergency actions to be taken. Fires can also result in a hazardous substance emergency. The New Zealand Fire Service often take a lead role in the response to hazardous substance emergencies but this can change depending on the products involved and the nature of the emergency.
The action to take in an emergency can be different depending on the products too - some will require you to evacuate until it is safe, others may require you to shelter inside with the doors and windows closed until it is safe to leave.
You should listen to your local radio station if you suspect that a hazardous substance emergency may be happening near you.