ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Explosives

Table of Distances

The Federal explosive regulations require explosives storage magazines to be located certain minimum distances from inhabited buildings, public highways, passenger railways, and other magazines based on the quantity of explosive materials in each magazine. These tables of distances were adopted to protect the public in the event of a magazine explosion.

  • Tables of distances apply to the outdoor storage of explosive materials.

  • When determining the distance from a magazine to a highway, an individual must measure from the nearest edge of the magazine to the nearest edge of the highway.

  • If any two or more magazines are separated by less than the specified distance, then the weights in the magazines must be combined and considered as one.

  • Each type of explosive has a specific table of distance.

Tables of Distances
 

Explosives

Applying Table of Distances at § 555.218 and § 555.220

The keys to applying these tables to donor/acceptor relationships are the net explosive weight (NEW) of the donor; the distances between magazines; the type of materials in the donor magazine; and the type of materials in the acceptor magazine. When storing high explosives (HE), blasting agents (BA) and ammonium nitrate (AN):

 

Table 218

Table 220

Detonators

Use for distances from detonator magazine to other HE storage (detonators are always the donor)

When detonators are located near BA or AN, use detonator weight under table 220.  Detonator magazine is always the donor.

HE near HE

Always used

Never used

When determining the minimum distance required for BA near BA or AN, the weight (rows in pound columns) to be used is based upon the donor material.  The table column (AN or BA) to be used is based upon the acceptor material.

BA near BA

 

Never used

Reduced sensitivity of BA acceptor is accounted for by table

Multiply the minimum distance by 6 if unbarricaded.

The higher BA weight must be used as the donor.

BA near AN

 

Never used

Use BA weight under 220 as the donor

Use the proper column for acceptor (AN) (reduced sensitivity of AN acceptor is accounted for by table)—AN cannot be the donor in this relationship

Multiply the minimum distance by 6 if unbarricaded

When determining the minimum required distance for HE storage near BA or AN, calculate the distance under both .218 and .220.  Use the more restrictive distance obtained from the two calculations.

HE near BA or AN

 

Calculate using BA weight as donor under 218

HE is the acceptor for this calculation (greater sensitivity is accounted for by table).

Calculate using HE weight as donor under 220.  BA or AN is the acceptor in this relationship

Use the proper column for the acceptor (BA or AN) (reduced sensitivity of acceptor is accounted for by table)

Multiply distance by 6 if unbarricaded.

If HE and BA storage do not meet separation requirements under the more restrictive measure above, the magazines must be considered as one, containing HE (combined NEW)

Note: When applying the table at § 555.220, the terms “bullet-resistant magazines” and protection by “bullet-resistant wall” refer to BA or AN acceptors; not to HE or BA donors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the table at 555.218 to determine the required distance for the storage of blasting agents and ammonium nitrate from inhabited buildings, highways and passenger railways.

§ 555.218 Table of distances for storage of explosive materials (high)

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When two or more storage magazines are located on the same property, each magazine must comply with the minimum distances specified from inhabited buildings, railways, and highways, and, in addition, they should be separated from each other by not less than the distances shown for “Separation of Magazines,” except that the quantity of explosives contained in cap magazines shall govern in regard to the spacing of said cap magazines from magazines containing other explosives.  If any two or more magazines are separated from each other by less than the specified “Separation of Magazines” distances, then such two or more magazines, as a group, must be considered as one magazine.

§ 555.219 Table of distances for storage of low explosives
Pounds From Inhabited building distance (feet) From public railroad and highway distance (feet) From above ground magazine (feet)
Over Not over
0 1,000 75 75 50
1,000 5,000 115 115 75
5,000 10,000 150 150 100
10,000 20,000 190 190 125
20,000 30,000 215 215 145
30,000 40,000 235 235 155
40,000 50,000 250 250 165
50,000 60,000 260 260 175
60,000 70,000 270 270 185
70,000 80,000 280 280 190
80,000 90,000 295 295 195
90,000 100,000 300 300 200
100,000 200,000 375 375 250
200,000 300,000 450 450 300
§ 555.220 Table of distances of ammonium nitrate and blasting agents from explosives or blasting agents

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Ammonium nitrate, by itself, is not considered to be a donor when applying this table. ammonium nitrate (AN), ammonium nitrate-fuel oil (ANFO) or combinations thereof are acceptors. If stores of AN are located within the sympathetic detonation distance of explosives or blasting agents, one-half the mass of the AN is to be included in the mass of the donor.

Use the table at § 555.218 to determine required minimum distances from inhabited buildings, passenger railways, and public highways.


Fireworks

Requirements for display fireworks, pyrotechnic compositions, and explosive materials used in assembling fireworks or articles pyrotechnic (excluding those in the process of manufacture, assembly, packaging, or transport).

No more than 500 pounds (227 kg) of pyrotechnic compositions or explosive materials are permitted at one time in any fireworks mixing building, any building or area in which the pyrotechnic compositions or explosive materials are pressed or otherwise prepared for finishing or assembly, or any finishing or assembly building. All pyrotechnic compostions or explosive materials not in immediate use will be stored in covered, non-ferrous containers.

Table of distances

                              

The maximum quantity of flash powder permitted in any fireworks process building is 10 pounds (4.5 kg).

All dry explosive powders and mixtures, partially assembled display fireworks, and finished display fireworks must be removed from fireworks process buildings at the conclusion of a day's operations and placed in approved magazines.

§ 555.222 Table of distances between fireworks process buildings and between fireworks process and fireworks nonprocess buildings
Net weight (pounds) of fireworks, i.e. all pyrotechnic compositions, explosive materials and fuse only Display fireworks (feet) - barricaded; double distance if unbarricaded Consumer fireworks (feet) - process buildings where consumer fireworks or articles pyrotechnic are processed
0-100 57 37
101-200 69 37
201-300 77 37
301-400 85 37
401-500 91 37
Above 500 Not permitted Not permitted
Fireworks Process Building
  • While consumer fireworks or articles pyrotechnic in a finished state are exempt, explosive materials used to manufacture or assemble such fireworks or articles are subject to regulation. Fireworks process buildings where consumer fireworks or articles pyrotechnic are being manufactured or processed must meet table of distance requirements.

  • A maximum of 500 pounds of in-process pyrotechnic compositions, either loose or in partially-assembled fireworks, is permitted in any fireworks process building.

  • Finished display fireworks may not be stored in a fireworks process building.

  • A maximum of 10 pounds of flash powder, either in loose form or in assembled units, is permitted in any fireworks process building. Quantities in excess of 10 pounds must be kept in an approved magazine.

§ 555.223 Table of distances between fireworks process buildings and other specified areas
Net weight (pounds) of fireworks, i.e. all pyrotechnic compositions, explosive materials and fuse only Display fireworks (feet) Consumer fireworks (feet) - process buildings where consumer fireworks or articles pyrotechnic are processed
0-100 200 25
101-200 200 50
201-300 200 50
301-400 200 50
401-500 200 50
Above 500 Not permitted Not permitted

When calculating the distance from passenger railways, public highways, fireworks plant buildings used to store consumer fireworks and articles pyrotechnic, magazines and fireworks shipping buildings, and inhabited buildings:

  • This table does not apply to the separation distances between fireworks process buildings (see § 555.222) and between magazines (see tables at §§ 555.218 and 555.224).

  • The distances in this table apply with or without artificial or natural barricades or screen barricades. However, the use of barricades is highly recommended.

  • No work of any kind, except to place/move items other than explosive materials from storage, may be conducted in any building designated as a warehouse. Fireworks plant warehouses are not subject to §§ 555.222 or 555.223.

§ 555.224 Table of distances for the storage of display fireworks (For bulk salutes, use table at § 555.218)

For the purposes of applying this table, the term “magazine” also includes fireworks shipping buildings for display fireworks.

Net weight (pounds) of firework, i.e. all pyrotechnic compositions, explosive materials and fuse only Distance between magazine and inhabited building, passenger railway, or public highway (feet) Distance between magazines (feet)
0-1000 150 100
1,001-5,000 230 150
5,001-10,000 300 200
Above 10,000 Use Table § 555.218  

For fireworks storage magazines in use prior to March 7, 1990, the distances in this table may be halved if properly barricaded between the magazine and potential receptor sites.