Clandestine Meth Labs
Why meth labs are dangerous:
Clandestine meth labs put residents in neighbouring houses and apartments at great risk, as well as firefighters, police and paramedics responding to a meth lab fire.
The chemicals used to manufacture crystal meth are toxic and explosive when combined and heated, making meth labs extremely dangerous. Crystal meth is made with simple household products, known as precursors, such as: drain cleaners containing sulfuric acid or muriatic acid (cement cleaner), acetone, rubbing alcohol, lithium batteries, iodine, starter fluid (ether), gas additives (methanol), paint thinner, kerosene, lye, red phosphorous (or matches).
Signs of a potential meth lab:
Clandestine labs can be found in apartments, houses, warehouses, vehicles, wooded areas, hotels, storage lockers and other secluded places. Being watchful for clandestine crystal meth labs is an important step in keeping our families and communities safe.
Signs of a potential meth lab include:
- large quantities of discarded packaging from the precursors, such as lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, blister packs from cold remedy packages, etc.
- unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the area of the lab.
- unusual strong odors (similar to cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).
- odors that cause headaches or eye irritation.
- in residences housing labs, the windows may be blacked out with plastic or tinfoil.
- renters using a property for a lab will only pay their landlords in cash.
- increased traffic, pedestrian and vehicular.
- increased security around the building – surveillance cameras, guard dogs, etc.
- people who come outside only to smoke and/or eat and drink.
What to do if you suspect a meth lab:
What to do if you suspect a meth lab in your neighbourhood:
- Do not confront the individuals you suspect may be operating the meth lab.
- Do not look for the lab yourself.
- Monitor and log activities around the suspected meth lab.
- Do not touch anything that may have been used in the meth lab – toxic residue could put your health and well-being at risk.
- Phone your local police department.
- You may not see police officers investigating the property; this work is often done through undercover surveillance.
- If you find anything that resembles a meth lab, leave the area immediately and call the police.
Crystal Meth Tip Line:
Anyone wishing to provide information about a dealer or meth lab can phone their local police dept. All information is held in the strictest confidence.
Callers should provide as much information as possible, such as:
- The name of the suspect.
- Their vehicle type or colour or license plate number.
- The location where the suspect frequently trafficks.
- The location of the suspected meth lab.
- Any other details that would be useful.