Reporter: Ammunition in house fire “could have fired off wildly.” Uh, no.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by PapaGrune, Nov 23, 2013.

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  1. PapaGrune

    PapaGrune Member

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  2. hueytaxi

    hueytaxi Member

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    That video went around several months ago, but very few LEO or FD's will change their policies. They will watch your place burn rather than trust the facts.
     
  3. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    What was the point of the video? I don't have time to watch for 25 minutes.
     
  4. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Educate, not indoctrinate .

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    ^

    It consists of a number of highly informative and dramatic experiments on large amounts of various kinds of ammunition in fires, being shot at in bulk quantities, being dropped, run over by bulldozer tracks, etc.

    It dispels the usual OMG!OMG!OMG! approach by reporters and other uninformed segments of the population.

    They used over 400,000 rounds of ammo in these experiments by SAAMI (Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, Inc.).

    There would seem to be little danger in approaching such blazes and in other abuses of ammunition. Even ejected bullets and case fragments which hit the fire personnel were stopped by their protective outfits ("turnout gear") without injury to them.

    Well worth investing 25 minutes in watching it. Entertaining, to boot.

    For discussion on it plus the original link, see THR's Sticky thread at

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=687125

    entitled: "Sticky: SAAMI video on ammunition and fire fighter safety"

    Terry
     

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  5. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Thanks. I already knew that it wasn't likely a fire would cause the kind of cataclysm shown in the movie "O' Brother Where Art Thou?" when the police vehicle caught fire with a large load of ammo inside causing the vehicle to get blown 30 feet in the air. That stuff is pure Hollywood which of course is why so many people believe in it. Hollywood is "never wrong" as we all know. :rolleyes: :D
     
  6. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    I don't think the concern is necessarily loose ammo..rather, as a firefighter I would be concerned that if I heard a bunch of live ammo going off, at least some of it is in loaded firearms. In a house, that's usually a safe assumption, that if there is a bunch of ammo going off, the homeowner likely has a loaded gun somewhere for protection. In a bedside drawer pointed at my chest as I go in, who knows. I wouldn't walk into a burning house with a bunch of exploding ammo. I wouldn't expect a firefighter to do it either.
     
  7. crazyjennyblack

    crazyjennyblack Member

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    I wouldn't worry too much about what the PD or FD will do when your place is burning. I've seen a handful of house fires, and from what I've seen the FD doesn't do YOUR home much good if you're the one with the fire. What isn't destroyed by the fire is destroyed by the water. They are there to keep it from spreading to your neighbors' houses. And out in the country? Good luck!
     
  8. PabloJ

    PabloJ member

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    It they are aware you have large ammo stash in your house they will let it burn to the ground.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The fire deptartments are fully aware that the chances of them being harmed by rounds going off in a fire are slim. That is not what they are concerned about. The powder from large numbers of rounds, or powder stored by reloaders are accelerants which will turn a small fire into a large dangerous fire quickly.

    Fire department policy is to put firefighters at reasonable risk to save other lives. If the risk of a fire getting quickly out of control is great, their policy is to not put firefighters lives at risk to save property. It is not just ammo or powder. Anything inyour home that could cause a fire to quickly accelerate will cause them to back off. It is a good idea to store flammable items and large quantaties of ammo/powder in a building separate from your home.

    As a homeowner, if I had even a small fire I'm not so sure I'd just as soon have the home totaled for this reason. Most everything in the home is ruined by the smoke, if not the water and it is probably just about as expensive to repair as just start over.
     
  10. JRWhit

    JRWhit Member

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    Can't believe I just watched over 1/2 a million $ in ammo get destroyed. Neat video though. Just not sure if it's 1/2 a million neat:confused:
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I thought the video was very interesting, although I kinda grieved for the loss of 400,000 rounds of ammo. But it was for a good cause.

    I also thought that Constellation in the far background at the beginning of the video was interesting! I'd like to check it out.
     
  12. kendak

    kendak Member

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    the wooden fence around my backyard cought fire this past summer & when I arrived the local fire dept. [vol.] were all sitting on the road [with my wife] ...I drove past them & the local sheriff dept. guys & took the booster line off a pumper they had sitting there idling & put the fire out ...later was told that they knew I had ammo in the house & was ordered NOT to get near my house...what upset me so much was that they wouldn't let my wife get her two babies [dogs] out & forced her to go with them ...if the fence got them spooked I hate to think what happens if the house fires up...
     
  13. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Kendak you need to join your VFD and teach them about ammo. After all, VFDs are organized of VOLUNTEERS for the common good.
     
  14. kendak

    kendak Member

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    was a member for 9yrs. but at 66 I can't handle it now but thanks anyway
     
  15. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I wonder what they consider a large quantity to be? Does that mean a brick of .22 or 5000 rounds of 7.62 x 39 or 100,000 rounds of .50 BMG? Or maybe half a ton of black powder? Whatever would I say if they asked me if I had a "large quantity" of ammo in the house? If they expect my ammo to blow up like the truck in "O Brother Where Art Thou?" I think they would be in for a surprise. That ain't gonna happen unless I have a gas leak somewhere.
     
  16. MErl

    MErl Member

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    Or keep a propane tank in your basement.

    I have a good amount of ammo in my house, and a couple loaded guns. Is also a full tank of CO2 and the possibility of a tank of highly compressed air. The latter is more of a risk in a fire.

    It sucks to hear that firefighters will stay out of a house when the hear the popping of ammunition but I would not support any law or rule forcing them to enter. The video from SAAMI will hopefully dispel unfounded fear but it comes down to just being 'stuff'. Most stuff is insured and replaceable, I wouldn't ask someone to risk their life to save it. (Nor would I try to talk someone out of it if they wanted to)
     
  17. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Kendak I wasn't ragging on you. I'm on the very high side of 60 myself and I too can no longer respond to a fire but I was suggesting you try to teach the other guys about ammo fires. You know, "the ammo you save could be mine" kind of thing. Most likely they aren't very familiar with ammo and fires, but they should be.
     
  18. gbran

    gbran Member

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    Back in 1975 my garage caught fire. It was pretty intense by the time the FD arrived. I told them I had a lot of ammo in the garage. We all agreed it wouldn't be a problem and it wasn't.
     
  19. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Policy probably wildly varies depending on locale and policy set by brass.
     
  20. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    We have had the SAAMI video stickied at the top of this forum for quite a while. It should be mandatory training for any VFD or Rescue Squad as well as LE and FD.
     
  21. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Somewhere I have a picture of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle that took a direct hit and caught fire.
    Cans of linked .50 Browning stored in racks on the outside of the vehicle cooked off due to the heat.
    The cans were bulged and lead streamed from the tops but none of the bullets penetrated the walls of the ammo cans
     
  22. pwhfirefighter

    pwhfirefighter Member

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    Agree, saving property should be attempted by using the "risk vs. benefit" analysis. Our dept will make every effort to save as much of the property as possible, our fire dept is very aggressive by nature of the firefighters here. But there are times to "surround and drown".

    True that water and smoke damage can be a problem, but I have seen several times where the home owner of a smoke and water damaged house was very happy when we handed them their photo album, or their firearms, or other personal items that can't be replaced.

    As far as ammo in the house is concerned, the career fire dept I work for will simply take note of it. It won't necessarily stop us. Heck, we don't usually know about ammo until it starts going off. A neat thing I read in FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE was about a fire where the home owner had a semi-auto rifle stored over the mantle with a chambered round and full magazine and said round in chamber cooked off and weapon started cycling because of the heat. Now that is a concern! But as said, ammo alone won't necessarily stop us.

    I have fought fires with ammo cooking off, it is a little concerning, but not a show stopper. Where I live, I am more surprised for there NOT to be at least some ammo in a house than for ammo to be present. In SOME places, the difference in the training and experience of the responding fire dept will be the deciding factor as to how aggressive the fire with ammo is fought.

    YMMV
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  23. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I cry a little bit every time I see that video. Ah the times when there wasn't an ammo shortage.
     
  24. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    My gun shop burned in 1995.
    Most of the 50 cal ammo cans looked like this.

    CP2.gif

    Carb3.gif

    C1.gif


    This ammo can contained 9mm in plastic boxes. The can was close but not in the fire.
    About 30-40 rounds "went off" and blew a fist size hole in the can.
    FRockchuckerand9mm.gif
     
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