How to Set Up a Decontamination Area

Click on image to view products used

Clothing Removal

By providing victims with personal privacy garments, clothing can be removed prior to entering the decon shower, significantly improving patient throughput of your shower system. DQE Doff-it and Don-it Personal Privacy Kits provide over-sized garments that allow the victims to maintain modesty and enhance safety. These kits are color-coded and designated for pre- and post-decon for each phase of an emergency decontamination operation.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is the most important component of your decon arsenal. If your responders are not provided with, and trained in, the use of appropriate PPE, you may be forced to rescue your rescuers. DQE offers several options for PPE and respirators. 

Decontamination Corridor

The placement of equipment within the decon corridor is critical. There are many aspects that must be considered. Proximity to utilities, lighting, and accessibility for victims are important considerations but the most important is organizing the decon area with responder safety as your number one priority. A ground tarp is an easy way to visually identify the boundaries of the decon corridor as well as the resulting quadrants: warm zone, cold zone, clean side, dirty side.

Accommodating All Types of Victims

Being able to accommodate more than one victim at a time is critical in multiple casualty chemical events. Consideration must be given not only to walking victims, but those that might have to be seated or decontaminated on a backboard. An additional collection pool and rollers are a very cost-effective and easy way to provide for non-ambulatory victims.


Decontamination doesn't always occur during the day. Make sure you have appropriate lighting to safely work within the decon area. A single Luminite Inflatable Light can provide enough light for the entire decon area - even providing light for victims within the shower. Having a good light source also enables your facility to train at night, allowing you to engage night-shift team members.

Waste Management

To have a safe and orderly decon area, all waste must be properly contained until it can be evaluated and disposed of in accordance with a variety of local and federal guidelines. Receptacles for both solid and liquid waste must be provided throughout the decon corridor. A flexible water bladder makes an excellent water storage vessel as it can accommodate greater volumes that traditional barrels and requires less storage space.