How to Spot a Meth Lab
If You Find a Lab (and it has not caught fire)…
Do not touch anything in the lab area and do not sniff any containers. If not on SCBA, back out of the room to protect yourself, and get a respirator or airpack on if you have to go back in the room.
Do not turn any electrical power switches or light switches on or off. Do not open or move any of the containers with chemicals in them. Wait for law enforcement to clear the scene before approaching any patients, because the owner of the meth lab could easily be lying in wait, ready to injure whoever is in his way. Meth users are notoriously dangerous and unstable.
Whatever you do, do not smoke, eat or drink anywhere near a methamphetamine laboratory.
If you come in contact with a meth lab, you should decontaminate yourself and your gear as quickly as possible, wash your hands and face thoroughly, and call your hazardous materials team and the police if you have not already done so.
Cleaning up a clandestine meth lab is a dangerous and complicated process which should be handled by trained professionals. Do not attempt to clean up or dispose of a suspected meth lab yourself if you are first to arrive- you may disrupt the scene, ruin evidence that could convict the owner of the meth lab, or worse, injure yourself and others. Always remember – scene safety is your number 1 priority. You can’t rescue others when you become the patient.
“A very good friend of mine who is a deputy sheriff found a bag on the side of the road thinking someone had littered. He was checking the contents for an address when the bag exploded and gave him severe chemical burns.”
Bottom line- leave the evidence collecting to the police and conduct yourself and your team with caution.