Section III. SAFETY, CARE, AND HANDLING
Both electric and non-electric caps can be initiated by
impact. The open end of non-electric caps contains an
a. General Precautions. Observe precautions general-
especially sensitive material (see WARNINGS in para 2-
ly applicable to use of ammunition and comply with all
2). Electric caps can
also be initiated
by static electricity
regulations and local and unit standard operating proce-
or induced current from radio frequency transmissions
dures. For safety rules, demolition mission responsibili-
(see para 2-9). Just by itself a detonating cap is a danger-
ties, and safe distance from personnel per pounds of
ous personnel hazard. Detonated in the hand, a single
explosive, refer to e(3) below.
cap can pretty much destroy a person's hand. Detonated
in the open, a cap produces many tiny fragments from its
b. Special Precautions in Use. In using the shaped
metal shell and can propel them and small stones, etc., a
demolition charges, the precautions in (1) through (8) be-
considerable distance. These tiny pieces of material are
low should be observed.
an eye hazard beyond the distance where the blast from
the cap would have any effect on personnel. Exposed
(1) Center charge over point to be attacked.
personnel are considered safe from the blast effects of a
single cap at 50 feet but approved eye protection must be
(2) Set axis of the charge in line with the direction
worn at this distance and far beyond because of the frag-
of the hole desired. If the target is other than horizontal,
ments and other material propelled by the caps detona-
tie, tape or prop the charge in place.
tion. For these reasons when detonating blasting caps
during training operations it is advisable that blasting
(3) Use the legs or pedestal provided to obtain the
caps be covered with sand bag(s) or detonated behind a
(4) Be certain there is no obstruction in the conical
c. Poisonous Fumes
cavity or between the charge and target, as any obstruc-
tion will materially reduce penetration effect.
(1) The detonation or burning of all explosives
produces poisonous fumes. The chemicals used in ex-
(5) Although the principal effect of a shaped dem-
plosives are poisonous. Personnel should be cautioned
olition charge is in its piercing jet, considerable blast and
against inhaling fumes or ingesting explosives. When
fragmentation effect will be produced in all directions,
explosives are used in closed areas or underground, ade-
especially directly opposite the direction of the jet. Per-
quate time must be allowed for the fumes to dissipate be-
sonnel in the open should withdraw a minimum of 900
fore investigation. Explosives should be carefully
feet. If adequate cover is provided, 300 feet is sufficient.
controlled to prevent diversion to other than the intended
purpose; i.e., burning as a source of heat for cooking.
(6) Since pentolite is somewhat more sensitive
than TNT, handle with appropriate care shaped demoli-
(2) Since explosives contain their own oxidizer,
tion charges containing pentolite.
burning explosives cannot be extinguished by smother-
ing. Whenever explosives burn, there is a hazard of pos-
(7) In using several charges at one time, do not
sible detonation. Personnel should not attempt to
place 15-pound charges closer than 5 feet from each oth-
extinguish burning explosives without professional ad-
er unless they can be fired simultaneously, that is, by ap-
vice and assistance and should keep their distance be-
proximately equal lengths of detonating cord detonated
cause of the toxic fumes.
by a single cap or main cord. Similarly, the minimum
distance between 40-pound charges should not be less
d. Misfires. A misfire is a complete failure to function.
than 8 feet.
Working on or near a misfire is the most hazardous of all
blasting operations. Investigation and correction should
(8) When shaped demolition charges are used to
be undertaken only by the man who placed the charge. A
blast boreholes for two stage demolitions, exercise care
misfire should be extremely rare if the procedures in
to allow the hole to cool sufficiently before loading the
chapter 2 are followed closely. Detailed procedures for
second demolition charge over the hole.
(9) Blasting caps are a unique hazard because they
are easier to initiate than other demolition materials.