The Dangerous Substances (Notification and Marking of Sites) Regulations 1990
A brief guide to NAMOS and an amendment to the Regulations 2013
What is the purpose of the Dangerous Substances (Notification and Marking of Sites) Regulations 1990 (NAMOS)?
The principal aim of the NAMOS Regulations is to ensure that firefighters arriving at an incident are warned of the presence of dangerous substances.
What are the current requirements in the NAMOS Regulations?
The NAMOS Regulations are based on the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG). It is a legal requirement under the NAMOS Regulations to notify the fire and rescue service (FRS) and the enforcing authority for the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (e.g. the Health and Safety Executive/local authority) about any site with a total quantity of 25 tonnes or more of dangerous substances.
The CDG Regulations are based on a European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (known as ADR) which contains a list of dangerous substances.
All sites having present at any one time a quantity of 25 tonnes or more of dangerous substances must display signs bearing the exclamation mark symbol, as defined by BS 5378 (as superseded by BS 5499 Part 5 2002), at such places as will give adequate warning to firefighters before entering the site in an emergency.
The person in control of the site is required to notify the fire service that they store or use or are going to store or use 25 tonnes or more of dangerous substances. This notification should include the following information:
- The name and address of the person making the notification.
- The full postal address of the site.
- A general description of the nature of the business carried on or intended to be carried on at the site.
- A list of the classifications of any dangerous substances which are, or are liable to be, present.
- The date on which it is anticipated that a total quantity of 25 tonnes or more of dangerous substances will be present, or if they are already present, a statement to that effect.
Upon receipt of a notification, an officer will make an appointment to visit and assess the site. Safety signs must be displayed as directed by the Inspecting Officer who must be satisfied that only signs necessary in order to warn firefighters in an emergency that dangerous substances are present are asked for, and displayed accordingly.
The inspecting officer may instruct the person in control of the site to also display safety signs at such locations within the site as they deem necessary. The intention of these signs is to give firefighters information of significant hazards within a site.
It is the responsibility of the person in control of the site to notify the Fire and Rescue Committee of any of the following changes:
- The cessation of the presence of dangerous substances at the site other that on a temporary basis
- The permanent reduction of the total quantity of dangerous substances present at the site to below 25 tonnes
- Any change in the list of classifications previously notified to the Fire and Rescue Committee
Further information can be obtained from the HSE, which includes a suggested layout for notification.
Why were the regulations amended?
On the 6 April 2013, the Notification of Installations Handling Hazardous Substances Regulations 1982 (NIHHS) and the Amendment Regulations 2002 were revoked. This will reduce the duplication of different notification regimes for dangerous substances. The requirement in the NIHHS Regulations for a person in control of a site to notify when the site holds 150 tonnes or more of 'relevant ammonium nitrate mixtures' will be transferred to the NAMOS Regulations.
Within the regulations and this guidance 'relevant ammonium nitrate mixtures' is defined as ammonium nitrate and mixtures containing ammonium nitrate, where the nitrogen content exceeds 15.75% of the mixture by weight. Further information can be obtained from the HSE.