Perspectives on Packaging: Issue 11 | Preparing Our First Responders

In 2018, the Industrial Steel Drum Institute, began its sponsorship of TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness Emergency Response). What exactly is TRANSCAER? In 1986, TRANSCAER was established as a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident.

First responders participate in a training by The Chlorine Institute.

TRANSCAER members consist of wide range of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as industry trade associations and government personnel. Other national TRANSCAER sponsors include the American Chemistry Council, American Petroleum Institute, Association of American Railroads, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, CHEMTREC®, Renewable Fuels Association, The Chlorine Institute and The Fertilizer Institute. TRANSCAER partners include the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council.

ISDI’s mission is to promote the common interests of its members through government relations, technical research, education and information exchange, media relations and

generic marketing programs. TRANSCAER utilizes education to promote the safe transportation and handling of hazardous materials. Since steel drums are routinely used for transporting these materials, ISDI was a natural partner.

With that in mind, ISDI developed a series of materials to educate first responders on the basics of steel drums. The Steel Drums 101 webinar covers important topics such as the components of a steel drum, the basics of UN/DOT markings on the drum, the importance of using fusible plugs when transporting flammable products in steel drums, and how the drums perform in fire situations. Also included is information, requested by stakeholders, on the proper blocking and bracing of filled steel drums during transportation, since the improper loading and restraint of a truck’s load can contribute to accidents during transportation.

Additionally, ISDI released two videos in the TRANSCAER Seconds Count Are You Prepared? video series. This series of short videos is used to educate stakeholders on key topics and features interviews with industry professionals.

ISDI’s first video focuses on the use of fusible plugs in steel drums when packaging flammable and combustible materials. Drums equipped with Ul or FM approved fusible plugs, and paired with the proper fire suppression system, are one of the safest containers for flammable and combustible products. The use of fusible plugs can reduce the likelihood of drum rupture, or BLEVE. The second video produced by ISDI focuses on decoding the DOT/UN mark on each steel drum that is tested and certified for transportation of HAZMAT materials.

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