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Most people like to see explosions; it’s just human nature.   This WEB site will answer some of your questions about explosives and it will give you several links to other explosive related sites.   The emphasis of this WEB site is  that "What you don't know will hurt you."

Most of the people who are injured by explosives are injured because of what they do not know, not by what they do know. Simple fireworks injure more people than high explosives. Each year, more than 10,000 injuries are caused by the use of fireworks in the United States. Seventy percent of those injuries are in children and young adults between the ages of 5 and 24 years.  Half of all injuries are incurred in the week of the Fourth of July.

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Why people get hurt.…(some things that you may not know)

1. Many people will tell you that they used to play with M-80’s and cherry bombs when they were young.  If they still have all of their fingers, they were lucky.  You can handle numerous illegal fireworks and not get injured by one going off accidentally.  The problem is that if one does go off accidentally, you probably will not get a second chance to make another mistake.  The law of averages can strike the first time that you pick up an M-80 or it can strike on the 731st time that you pick one up.  The one thing that you can be sure of is that eventually one of them will go off accidentally.  Military explosives experts are given months of training and they are trained to disarm any explosive device up to and including a nuclear device.  But, military explosive experts will not handle illegal fireworks because the fireworks are too dangerous.   They learned this the hard way through countless years of experience and loss of lives.  

2. Home made fireworks and explosives are very unstable.   There is no set formula for the explosive that is used in illegal fireworks.   Some of the fireworks that are made in Mexico are so unstable and dangerous that they are shipped wet to prevent them from exploding prematurely.  The explosive filler can be set off by friction, heat, impact, sparks or flame.  If you have a bag full of illegal fireworks and one of them goes off accidentally, you can assume that all of the fireworks in the bag will go off at the same time.  A small amount of fireworks going off at the same time in a vehicle can kill everyone who is in that vehicle and scatter parts of the car in all directions.

3. Static electricity is everywhere.  It is created by motion.   A car driving down the road is creating static electricity as you travel.   Wind or walking on a carpet can create static electricity.  You can create static electricity by running your fingers through your hair.  It is usually not visible but you can sometimes see it in the dark or hear it "crack".  I am sure that everyone has been shocked by static electricity when they grab a door handle after sliding across a car seat.  Synthetic clothing tends to create static electricity and cotton clothing tends to prevent static electricity.  A simple spark of static electricity near an explosive mixture will quite often cause an explosion.  Many fatal fireworks accidents have been caused by static electricity and these accidents can occur at any time.

4. Commercial explosives, with a few exceptions, are usually stable and safe to handle.  Home made explosives are usually very unstable and will often explode for no apparent reason.  To intentionally make an explosive compound is like playing Russian Roulette.  Eventually, you can be sure that it will blow up in your face.

6. Military devices are designed to kill.  Some of them have complicated fuses that are designed to detonate the explosive by a slight movement, or impact.  Some of them contain poisonous gas.  It is usually not the actual explosion of a military device that kills people.  It is usually the shrapnel (small pieces of metal) from the explosion that kills people.  Shrapnel can travel at 3000 feet per second in all directions from the explosion.  The metal pieces are razor sharp and will cut through the human body causing fatal wounds.  Military devices are often altered by civilians and become even more dangerous.  Military explosives experts will not handle any military devices that are found until they can be sure that the device contains no explosives or has not been tampered with.  If you want to stay alive, follow their example.

7. Pipe bombs are one of the most dangerous explosive devices that you may encounter.  The explosive filler may react with the metal in the pipe, causing it to explode unexpectedly.  The explosive filler may get into the threads of the pipe and a small amount of movement may be enough friction to cause the pipe bomb to explode.  Static electricity may jump from your hand to the pipe causing the pipe bomb to explode.  A pipe bomb can easily kill someone who is 300 feet away from the explosion because it will throw many pieces of shrapnel in all directions.

  1. Even commercial explosives can be unpredictable.   Crystallized dynamite can detonate with a sudden temperature change of 3 degrees or more.   ANFO can be made touch and friction sensitive if it has been contaminated with some impurities.


These are just some of the things that most people do not know.  I cannot release the rest of the reasons why people get injured by explosives for security reasons.   What you don’t know will  hurt you.


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  1. 1.    A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year of confinement in the county jail.  A felony is punishable by a year or more in the State Prison.  You can no longer be in possession of firearms, hold public office or vote if you are convicted of a felony.
  3. 2.    A person who is convicted of an offense involving an explosive device is not eligible for probation.  The judge must sentence him to serve time in jail.
  5. 3.    An M-80 can be considered to be an explosive device and possession of an M-80 can be a felony.
  7. 4.    It is a felony to possess or explode a container by the use of expanding gas (example: vinegar and baking soda or a CO2 device) {a simple rule of thumb is that if it explodes, it is probably illegal}
  9. 5.    It is a felony to possess or explode any explosive device. (M-80s, or any explosive device that can cause serious injury or property damage)
  11. 6.    It is a felony to possess the components of an explosive device (container, explosive filler, means of initiating and exploding)

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Title 18, United States Code, Section 1705:---It is a federal felony offense, punishable by up to three years in prison, and up to a $250,000.00 fine. This is the statute for mailbox vandalism. This includes maliciously injuring, tearing down or destroying any mailbox, those at someone's house, or the blue ones you put your outgoing mail in. It also includes injuring, defacing or destroying any mail inside the mail box.

Title 18, United States Code, Section 1716: ---It includes mailing anything dangerous or flammable, specifically, explosives, poisons, alcohol, firearms, blood, certain knives, fireworks, bullets, etc. There are exceptions for medical or law enforcement purposes. The penalty is in three parts. The first is a misdemeanor, punishable by no more than one year in jail, if the items are mailed. The second part, if the item was mailed with the intent to kill or injure, is a felony punishable by a $10,000.00 fine and up to 20 years in prison, or both. The third part is if the mailing resulted in someone's death. This is a felony punishable by the death penalty or to life imprisonment.


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The legislature is serious about preventing the illegal use of explosives and the court system is serious about punishing any offenders.  You can be sure that if you handle homemade explosives or illegal fireworks, you will eventually be seriously injured in an accidental explosion.  Trained Bomb Technicians will handle fireworks or improvised explosives only when absolutely necessary and then only with numerous safety precautions.  It is not worth the risk to your health or your freedom for the small amount of entertainment you can get from explosions.  If you like explosions, I suggest that you watch a movie, watch a commercial fireworks display or get some formal training and become an explosives expert.  He who thinks that an explosive will not accidentally detonate in his hands will be right--- until he is wrong.

(See Graphic Photo page)

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bombs, explosives, fireworks, and dynamite, will explode, iabti, anfo, formulas, C-4, anarchist, tnt.