Transportation of Explosives Requirements
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE STORAGE USE
AND TRANSPORTATION OF EXPLOSIVES
BOND REQUIRED FOR BLASTING
Before a permit is issued for the storage sale transportation disposal or use of explosives or blasting agents the applicant shall file with the Fire Marshal's Office a bond or evidence of a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least two million dollars ($2000000) combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage. This insurance policy shall become available for the payment of any damage arising from the acts or omissions of the applicant his agents or his employees in connection with the storage transportation disposal or use of explosives or blasting agents.
Bonds or liability insurance policies may be for a specific operation or for an entire year provided that the applicant shows evidence that the bond or liability insurance policy is in continuing effect.
If there is a fee associated with this permit the fee is non-refundable. Reference the Fire Marshal’s Office fee schedule for the applicable permit cost.
1. Manufacturing: The manufacture of explosives or blasting agents shall be prohibited. This shall not apply to hand loading of small arms ammunition for personal use when not for resale.
2. Storage: The storage of explosives and blasting agents is prohibited within the limits established by law as the limits of the district in which such storage is to be prohibited except for temporary storage for use in connection with approved blasting operations provided; however this prohibition shall not apply to wholesale and retail stocks of small arms ammunition explosive bolts explosive rivets or cartridges for explosive-actuated power tools in quantities involving less than 500 pounds of explosive material. The overnight storage of explosives or blasting agents shall be prohibited in all areas of Prince William County except by special use permit as defined in the Prince William County Zoning Ordinances with amendments.
3. Quantity Control: The fire official may limit the quantity of explosives or blasting agents to be permitted at any location.
4. Sale and Display: A person shall not sell or display explosives or blasting agents on highways sidewalks public property or in places of public assembly.
a. The Prince William County Fire Marshal's Office shall be immediately notified by telephone of the loss or theft of any explosives. This verbal notification shall be immediately followed by a letter to the Fire Marshal's Office giving complete details as to type amounts manufacturer and all other relevant facts.
b. If at any time explosives are found not properly stored in a magazine it shall immediately be reported to the Prince William County Fire Marshal's Office who will take possession thereof for the purpose of safeguarding or disposal of such explosives.
STORAGE OF EXPLOSIVES
If there is a fee associated with this permit the fee is non-refundable. Reference the Fire Marshal’s Office fee schedule for the applicable permit cost.
General: Explosives including special industrial high explosive materials shall be stored in magazines which meet the requirements of this article. This shall not be construed as applying to wholesale and retail stocks of small arms ammunition explosive bolts explosive rivets or cartridges for explosive-actuated power tools in quantities involving less than 500 pounds of explosive material. Magazines shall be in the custody of a competent person at all times who shall be at least 21 years of age and who shall be held responsible for compliance with all safety precautions. A certified blaster shall be the sole possessor of keys to locks on fence gates and magazine locks.
1. Control in wholesale and retail stores: The storage of or display of explosives and blasting caps in
wholesale and retail stores is prohibited.
2. Magazine clearances: Class I and Class II magazines shall be located away from inhabited buildings passenger railways public highways and other magazines in conformance with the American table of distances for storage of explosives as approved by the Institute of Makers of Explosives and revised in 1991.
3. Magazine Construction:
a. Magazines shall be constructed and maintained as outlined in N.F.P.A. 495 1996 edition.
(1) Class I magazines shall include Type 1; Type 2 Outdoor Box Magazine; and Type 3 Vehicular Magazine as outlined in N.F.P.A. 495 except the latter type shall meet all lock requirements for a Type one magazine
(2) Class II magazines shall be constructed of 2 inch tongue and grooved hardwood covered on the outside with No. 20 U.S. standard gage sheet iron or aluminum or of all metal construction with side bottom and cover of sheet metal lined with 3/8 inch plywood or the equivalent. Class II magazines shall have a minimum of 2 locks with different keying for each lock plus locks shall be protected by steel hoods that are installed in a manner to prevent insertion of bolt cutters.
4. Weather Resistance: Magazines for the storage of explosives shall be weather resistant and properly ventilated and when used for storage of Class A explosives other than black powder blasting caps and electric blasting caps shall also be bullet resistant.
5. Magazine Heat and Light: Magazines shall not be provided with artificial heat or light except that if artificial light is necessary an approved electric safety flashlight or safety lantern shall be used.
6. Safety Precautions: Smoking matches open flames spark producing devices and firearms shall be prohibited inside or within 50 feet of magazines. Combustible materials shall not be stored within 50 feet of magazines.
7. Surrounding Terrain: The land surrounding magazines shall be kept clear of brush dried grass leaves trash and debris for a distance of at least 25 feet.
8. Locking Security: Magazines shall be kept locked except when being inspected or when explosives are being placed therein or being removed therefrom.
9. Magazine Housekeeping: Magazines shall be kept clean dry and free of grit paper empty packages and rubbish.
10. Separation of Detonators and Explosives: Blasting caps electric blasting caps detonating primers and primed cartridges shall not be stored in the same magazine with other explosives.
11. Explosive Unpacking: Packages of explosives shall not be unpacked or repacked in a magazine nor within 50 feet of a magazine.
12. Magazine Contents: Magazines shall not be used for the storage of any metal tools or of any commodity except explosives but this restriction shall not apply to the storage of blasting agents blasting supplies and oxidizers used in compound blasting agents.
13. Unstable Explosives: When an explosive has deteriorated to an extent that it is an unstable or dangerous condition or if nitroglycerin leaks from any explosive then the person in possession of such explosive shall immediately report the fact to the fire official and upon his authorization shall proceed to destroy such explosives and clean floors stained with nitroglycerin in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer. Only experienced persons shall do the work of destroying explosives.
14. Class I Magazine Warnings: Property upon which Class I magazines are located shall be posted with signs reading EXPLOSIVES--KEEP OFF. Such signs shall be located so as to minimize the possibility of a bullet traveling in the direction of the magazine if anyone shoots at the sign.
15. Class II Magazine Warnings: Class II magazines shall be painted red and shall bear lettering in white on all sides and top at least three inches high reading EXPLOSIVES--KEEP FIRE AWAY.
16. Magazine Use: Class I magazines shall be used for the storage of explosives when quantities are in excess of 50 pounds of explosive material and for the overnight storage of explosives regardless of the quantity.
17. Class II Magazine: Class II magazines may be used for temporary storage of explosives at the site of blasting operations where such amount constitutes not more than one day's supply for use in current operations. All explosives not used in the day's operation shall be returned to the Class I magazine at the end of the workday for overnight storage. In no case shall a Class II magazine be used for overnight storage.
18. Fencing: An 8 foot chain link fence or a 6 foot chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire around the top is recommended around a Class I magazine installation. It is also recommended that this fence have a gate in it equipped with casehardened locks and hasps.
19. Records: Daily records shall be kept as to the amount of explosives received from a supplier and delivered to the magazine. Also a daily record shall be kept of the explosives removed from the magazine for daily use and the amount of explosives returned. This record will be kept within the magazine so that on inspection of the magazine accountability for all explosives can be made. The accountability of explosives shall be broken down as to the different types stored and used. Forms for these records shall be approved by the Fire Marshal.
STORAGE OF BLASTING AGENTS AND SUPPLIES
General: Blasting agents or oxidizers when stored in conjunction with explosives shall be stored in the manner set forth in Section 3304 of the International Fire Code for explosives. The quantity of blasting agents or oxidizers shall be included when computing the total quantity of explosives for determining distance requirements.
1. Storage Location: Buildings used for storage of blasting agents separate from explosives shall be located away from inhabited buildings passenger railways and public highways in conformance with the American table of distances for storage of explosives as approved by the Institute of Makers of Explosives and revised in 1991.
2. Storage Housekeeping: The interior of buildings used for the storage of blasting agents shall be kept clean and free from debris and empty containers. Spilled materials shall be cleaned up promptly and safely removed. Combustible materials flammable liquids corrosive acids chlorate's nitrates other than an ammonium nitrate or similar materials shall not be stored in any building containing blasting agents unless separated by construction having a fire resistance rating of not less than one hour. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit the storage of blasting agents together with non-explosive blasting supplies.
3. Oxidizers and Fuels: Piles of oxidizers and buildings containing oxidizers shall be adequately separated from readily combustible fuels.
4. Oxidizer Handling: Caked oxidizer either in bags or in bulk shall not be loosened by blasting.
TRANSPORTATION OF EXPLOSIVES
General: Explosives shall not be transported on public conveyances. When transported in vehicles the following precautions shall be observed.
1. Vehicle Design: Vehicles used for transporting explosives shall be strong enough to carry the load without difficulty and shall be in good mechanical condition. If vehicles do not have a closed body the body shall be covered with a flame proof and moisture proof tarpaulin or other effective protection against moisture and sparks. Such vehicles shall have tight floors and exposed spark-producing metal on the inside of the body shall be covered with wood or other non-sparking material to prevent contact with packages of explosives. Packages of explosives shall not be loaded above the sides of open-body vehicles.
2. Vehicle Prohibitions: The attachment of any type of trailer behind a truck a tractor-semi-trailer or truck-full-trailer combination for transporting explosives is prohibited. Explosives shall not be transported on any pole trailer.
3. Vehicle Restrictions: Vehicles containing explosives shall not be taken into a garage or repair shop for repairs or storage.
4. Vehicle Contents: Only those dangerous articles authorized to be loaded with explosives by DOT 49CFR shall be carried in the body of a vehicle transporting explosives.
5. Vehicle Inspections: It shall be the duty of the person to whom a permit has been issued to transport explosives over the highway of the jurisdiction to inspect daily those vehicles under such authority and employed for this purpose to determine that:
a. Fire extinguishers are filled and in operating condition;
b Electric wires are insulated and securely fastened;
c. The motor chassis and body are reasonably clean and free of excessive grease and oil;
d. The fuel tank and fuel line are securely fastened and are not leaking;
e. Brakes lights horn windshield wipers and steering mechanism are functioning properly;
f. Tires are properly inflated and free of defects; and
g. The vehicle is in proper condition for transporting explosives.
6. Vehicle Signs: Every vehicle transporting explosives shall be marked or placarded on both sides front and rear in accordance with the requirements of DOT 49CFR
7. Separation of Detonators and Explosives: Blasting caps or electric blasting caps shall not be transported over the highways of the jurisdiction on the same vehicle with other explosives except by permission of the fire official. Permission is being granted by this office to transport detonators and explosives on the same vehicle provided vehicle is brought into this office for inspection and meets I.M.E. requirements.
8. Vehicle Traveling Clearances: Vehicles transporting explosives and traveling in the same direction shall not be driven within 300 feet of each other.
9. Vehicle Routing: Vehicles transporting explosives shall be routed to avoid congested traffic and densely populated areas.
10. Vehicular Tunnels: Explosives shall not be transported through any completed vehicular tunnel or subway.
11. Fire Extinguisher: Each motor vehicle used for transporting explosive materials shall be equipped with two fire extinguishers having a rating of at least 2A:10B:C.
12. Operating Precautions: A person shall not smoke carry matches or any other flame-producing device or carry any firearms or loaded cartridges while in or near a vehicle transporting explosives or drive load or unload any such vehicle in a careless or reckless manner.
13. Spark Protection: Spark producing metal or spark producing metal tools shall not be carried in the body of a vehicle transporting explosives.
14. Driver Qualifications: Vehicles transporting explosives shall be in the custody of drivers who are physically fit careful capable reliable able to read and write the English language not addicted to the use or under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics and not less than 21 years of age. They shall be familiar with state and municipal traffic regulations and the provisions of this article governing the transportation of explosives.
15. Vehicle Attendant: Vehicles transporting explosives shall not be left unattended at any time within the jurisdiction.
16. Passenger Restrictions: Unauthorized persons shall not ride on vehicles transporting explosives.
17. Emergency Conditions: The fire and police departments shall be promptly notified when a vehicle transporting explosives is involved in an accident breaks down or catches fire. Only in the event of such an emergency shall the transfer of explosives from one vehicle to another vehicle be allowed on highways within the municipality and only when qualified supervision is provided. Except in such an emergency a vehicle transporting explosives shall not be parked before reaching its destination on highways within the jurisdiction or adjacent to or in proximity to any bridge tunnel dwelling building or place where people work congregate or assemble.
18. Delivery: Delivery shall only be made to authorized persons and into approved magazines or approved temporary storage or handling areas.
19. Explosives and Blasting Agents at Terminals: The fire official may designate the location and specify the maximum quantity of explosives or blasting agents which may be loaded unloaded reloaded or temporarily retained at each terminal where such operations are permitted.
20. Department of Transportation Regulations: Shipments of explosives or blasting agents delivered to carriers shall comply with DOT 49CFR.
21. Carrier Responsibility: Carriers shall immediately notify the fire official when explosives or blasting agents are received at terminals.
22. Notice to Consignee: Carriers shall immediately notify consignees of the arrival of explosives or blasting agents at terminals.
23. Consignee Responsibility: The consignee of a shipment of explosives or blasting agents shall remove them from the carrier's terminal within 48 hours Sundays and holidays excluded after being notified of their arrival.
TRANSPORTATION OF BLASTING AGENTS
General: When blasting agents are transported in the same vehicle with explosives all of the requirements of NFPA 495-1996 and DOT 49CFR shall be complied with.
1. Vehicle Condition: Vehicles transporting blasting agents shall be in safe operating condition at all times.
2. Vehicle Signs: Every vehicle transporting blasting agents shall be placarded on both sides front and rear as required by DOT 49CFR.
3. Vehicle Contents: Oils matches firearms acids or other corrosive liquids shall not be carried in the body of any vehicle transporting blasting agents.
4. Personnel Condition: A person shall not be permitted to ride upon drive load or unload a vehicle containing blasting agents while smoking or under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics.
USE AND HANDLING OF EXPLOSIVES
1. Mixing Blasting Agents: Buildings or other facilities used for mixing blasting agents shall be located away from inhabited buildings passenger railways and public highways in accordance with Chapter 33 of the International Fire Code as amended by the State of Virginia.
2. Quantity of Mixing Agents: Not more than 1 day's production of blasting agents or the limit determined in Chapter 33 of the International Fire Code whichever is less shall be permitted in or near the building or other facility used for mixed blasting agents. Larger quantities shall be stored in separate buildings or magazines.
3. Compounding Standards: Compounding and mixing of recognized formulations of blasting agents shall be conducted in accordance with nationally recognized good practice.
4. Ignition Protection: Smoking or open flames shall not be permitted within 50 feet of any building or facility used for the mixing of blasting agents.
5. Unpackaging Tools: Tools used for opening packages of explosives shall be constructed on non-sparking materials.
6. Waste Disposal: Empty oxidizer bags shall be disposed of daily by burning in a safe manner in the open at a safe distance from buildings or combustible materials.
7. Packing Material Disposal: Empty boxes and paper and fiber packing materials which have previously contained high explosives shall not be used again for any purpose but shall be destroyed by burning at an approved isolated location out of doors and any person shall not be nearer than 100 feet after the burning has started. Explosives shall not be abandoned.
1. Time: Blasting operations shall be conducted during daylight hours except when authorized at other times by the fire official.
2. Personnel: The handling and firing of explosives shall be performed by the person possessing a permit to use explosives and having certification as a blaster. This certification shall be approved by the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention. A certified blaster on a job site can direct the handling and firing of explosives by persons under his direct supervision who are at least 21 years of age. A certified blaster must be capable of reading and writing the English language. A person shall not handle explosives while under the influence of intoxicants or narcotics. A person shall not smoke or carry matches while handling explosives or while in the vicinity thereof. An open flame light shall not be used in the vicinity of explosives.
3. Clearance at Site: At the site of blasting operations a distance of at least 150 feet shall be maintained between Class II magazines and the blast area when the quantity of explosives temporarily kept therein is in excess of 25 pounds and at least 50 feet when the quantity of explosives is 25 pounds or less.
4. Notice: Whenever blasting is being conducted in the vicinity of gas electric water fire alarm telephone telegraph or stream utilities the blaster shall notify the appropriate representatives of such utilities at least 24 hours in advance of blasting specifying the location and intended time of such blasting. Verbal notice shall be confirmed with written notice. In an emergency this time limit may be waived by the fire official.
5. Responsibility: Before a blast is fired the person in charge shall make certain that all surplus explosives are in a safe place all persons and vehicles are at a safe distance or under sufficient cover and a loud warning signal has been sounded.
6. Precautions: Due precautions shall be taken to prevent accidental discharge of electric blasting caps from current induced by radio or radar transmitters lightning adjacent power lines dust storms or other sources of extraneous electricity. These precautions shall include:
a. The suspension of all blasting operations and removal of persons from the blasting area during the approach and progress of an electrical storm;
b. The posting of signs warning against the use of mobile radio transmitters on all roads within 350 feet of the blasting operations;
c. Compliance with nationally recognized good practice when blasting within 1½ miles of broadcast or high power short wave radio transmitters.
7. Congested Areas: When blasting is done in congested areas or in close proximity to a building structure railway highway or any other installation that may be damaged the blast shall be covered before firing with a mat constructed so that it is capable of preventing rock from being thrown into the air. If the blast is of such nature or in such a location that the mat by itself may not contain all debris from the blast then the blaster shall have sufficient earthen burden placed over the blast along with the mat to contain all debris from the blast.
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