Measures taken to decrease interdependent risks within chemical industrial areas should be based on quantitative data from a holistic (cluster-based) point of view. Therefore, this paper examines the typology of networks representing industrial areas to formulate recommendations to more effectively protect a chemical cluster against existing systemic risks. Chemical industrial areas are modeled as two distinct complex networks and are prioritized by computing two sub-indices with respect to existing systemic safety and security risks (using Domino Danger Units) and supply chain risks (using units from an ordinal expert scale). Subsequently, a Systemic Risk Index for the industrial area is determined employing the Borda algorithm, whereby the systemic risk index considers both a safety and security network risk index and a supply chain network risk index. The developed method allows decreasing systemic risks within chemical industrial areas from a holistic (inter-organizational and/or inter-cluster) perspective. An illustrative example is given. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.