Explosives Storage Magazines Information

Explosives storage magazine Explosives storage magazines are designed to store low explosive and/or high explosive materials. Low explosives contain a combustible substance and an oxidant. They are used as propellants and include gun powder, flares, and pyrotechnics. High explosives are used in military, mining, and demolition applications. They detonate at 1,000 to 9,000 meters per second (m/s) and are categorized as either primary or secondary explosives. Primary explosive materials are very sensitive to friction, heat, and mechanical shock. Secondary explosives are relatively insensitive to these conditions and include both dynamite and TNT. Some explosives storage products are designed for a third type of high explosive. Tertiary explosives, or blasting agents, are insensitive to shock, but require an intermediate explosive booster.


There are five categories for explosives storage.

  • Type 1 storage consists of permanent structures (such as buildings or tunnels) that are bullet-resistant, theft-resistant, weather-resistant, and well-ventilated.
  • Type 2 storage also resists bullets, fire, theft, and weather. Unlike Type 1 storage, however, Type 2 storage products include boxes, trailers, semi-trailers, and other mobile facilities.
  • Type 3 explosives storage devices are day boxes or other portable magazines. These devices resist fire, theft, and weather, and are less than 1 cubic yard in size.
  • Type 4 explosives storage includes both permanent structures and mobile products. Unlike Type 1 storage, however, Type 4 storage does not include high explosives.
  • Type 5 storage is used with blasting agents. Products include dugouts, bins, boxes, trailers, and semi-trailers that are both theft-resistant and weather-resistant.    


Each category of explosives storage has specifications and requirements.

  • Type 1 storage meets requirements for the masonry wall, metal wall, and wood wall; foundations and floors; roof and doors; and hinges, hasps and locks. There are also interior specifications, and standards for ventilation, lighting, and housekeeping.
  • Type 2 storage devices, such as detonator boxes, have requirements for hinges, hasps, and locks, as well as lighting and housekeeping. There are some restrictions on both Type 2 outdoor storage facilities and Type 2 indoor storage facilities.
  • Type 3 explosives storage products must be constructed of 12-gauge steel and lined with plywood or hardboard. Unattended storage is not allowed, and explosive materials must be removed to either Type 1 magazines or Type 2 magazines.
  • Type 4 explosives storage and Type 5 explosives storage also have listed specifications and requirements.

Related Information

CR4 Community—Explosive Gas Produced By Rust in Confined Spaces

CR4 Community—The Ins and Outs of Working as a Detonation Specialist

IEEE Spectrum—Nuclear Wasteland

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Tksteven / CC BY-SA 3.0


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