Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
FP 242
Course Title:
Hazardous Materials Chemistry
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers basic chemistry relating to hazardous materials categories. Includes key recognition, identification, reactivity, and health hazards encountered by emergency services. Prerequisites: FP 112, FP 123, WR 121 and MTH 65.

Addendum to Course Description

This course is required for an Associate Degree of Applied Science in Fire Protection and fulfills the requirements for the Fire Standards and Accreditation Board subjects for #25-09. This course is transferable to a degree program in Fire Service Administration at Western Oregon University or Eastern Oregon University.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Apply an understanding of basic principles of chemistry (e.g., common elements of the Periodic Table, chemical and physical properties of gases, liquids, and solids, elements, compounds, mixtures, differences between ionic and covalent bonding) to hazardous materials incidents.
  • Utilize an understanding of hazardous materials chemistry and basic chemistry involved with common hydrocarbon derivatives.
  • Apply the knowledge of the nine U.S. Department of Transportation hazard classes and their respective divisions and proficiently use the reference materials and associated programs commonly used in the hazardous materials industry.

Course Activities and Design

The material in this course will be presented in a lecture, demonstration and practical application format. Other instructional methods
including guest speakers, demonstrations, simulations, and presentations may be employed.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of the course, the instructor will discuss the methods used to evaluate student performance and progress and the criteria for
assigning a course grade. A course syllabus will be provided. Assessment methods may include one or more of the following: examinations,
quizzes, simulations, research papers, demonstrations," and classroom participation.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  1. Identify common flammable liquids, their properties and emer- gency procedures for incidents involving flammable liquids.
  2. Describe conditions associated with flammable and combustible gases and liquids that might lead to a BLEVE situation.
  3. Identify common flammable gases, their properties and emergency procedures for incidents involving flammable gases.
  4. Identify liquefied and cryogenic gas properties and describe emergency response procedures.
  5. Identify common flammable solids, their properties and emergency procedures for incidents involving dangerous-when-wet materials.
  6. Identify common acids, bases, and halogens, their properties and describe emergency response procedures.
  7. Identify toxicological properties of common products of combustion.
  8. Identify characteristics, properties, and emergency response procedures to incidents involving explosives, rocket fuel, and radioactive materials.
  9. Identify characteristics, properties, and emergency response procedures for organic peroxides, plastics, and oxidizers.