Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kaboom part 2

10 -4 KABOOM?? PART 2

have you ever gone on a trip down a Country or Interstate road were there is construction going on and seen signs


And wondered what they mean by this.
The answer is quite simple in the use of certain types of explosives such as Blasting caps
which are used to Set off the heavier Explosives such as TNT or Ammonium nitrate/Diesel fuel Explosive mixes
the simple transmission of even a hand held radio of any type CB , FRS, Cell Phone included can cause the Blasting caps to go off prematurely even just having the radio turned on can set off an explosion if the Radio has any type of malfunction which causes it to transmit .The most critical time I am told when this type of accident can happen is when the Blasting crews are hooking up all the wires to the caps even Static electricity can have serious consequences during this critical stage as all of the wiring being used can act as a big receiving antenna and the simple keying up of a radio if it is close enough will cause caps to go off prematurely. and considering that some mobile radios can put out 100 or better watts of power this can create a serious hazard to blasting crews
But you say to your self well wait a minute you see these Explosives workers using radios
right up to the last minute but look again at the Radios they are using these radios have been specially designed and certified not to set off explosives and are very expensive the couple of radios of this type I have seen are also super heavy duty constructed as well , this labeling is not to be Confused with Explosion Proof radios we discussed in the earlier article which are not
designed to be used around explosives

Should you or your fire company ever have to respond to an Emergency in a blasting zone it is essential to maintain absolute radio silence and turn off all 2 way radios unless you are other wise advised by blasting personnel it is safe to use them.
I recently encountered just such a problem when cleaning out an Old friends homestead in Ohara Twp. Pa.
when I came upon a Small tin box filled with Blasting Caps and Detonation cord right beside it.
As he never had a phone I had to use My Truck radio to call Police and Bomb squad to have these caps which were manufactured in the 30's Safely Removed Knowing the dangers I backed way
back from the property before keying my radio and advised Police to maintain similar distance . The Allegheny County Bomb Squad came out and removed several boxes of Explosives from my Friends home that day. Seems my friend used those explosives to clear his land in the 30's and never disposed of them properly. Which is another story in it's self. Needless to say every one came away safe and the Bomb Squad was extremely pleased I took the steps necessary to prevent an Explosion, and the Bomb Squad picked up some neat antique explosives containers for there collection .
Needless to say when ever you enter an old abandoned Homestead Explosives being there are always a possibility As one Bomb Squad member told me a little Paranoia is a good thing some times.
Always Remember explosives around 2way radios Off.

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