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Posted: 3/16/2006 6:24:55 PM EDT
I've heard that many/most fire departments will not go into your house if you have ammo that's not stored in a fireproof container of some sort. Even if you don't tell them, that's a big risk if someone actually does get killed by exploding ammo crates (manslaughter is something you don't want in your life). Now, this may not be much of a problem for Bubba or John Q Public who have a box of tweny .30-06 rounds and some shotgun shells, but for the average Arfcommer, this could be an issue. I don't know about you, but I don't have enough room in my safe for big ammo boxes/crates of thousands of rounds of ammo, at least not if I plan on actually putting guns in there, too.

What is the alternative? For purposes regarding this scenario, I basically don't have a garage, and underground storage would be obviously suceptible to water leakage (esp. in Minnesota in spring). Is it possible to build your own little makeshift fireproof storage thing, say, with cinderblocks filled with something (sand?) and ceamic tiles on the outside?

What's the best solution?

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:27:57 PM EDT
I live in an apartment. My ammo is in a closet with its very own sprinkler head. Fire gets to it, it will be very very wet.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:28:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OBird:
I've heard that many/most fire departments will not go into your house if you have ammo that's not stored in a fireproof container of some sort.



also, if you drink coke and eat pop-rocks at the same time, your head will explode.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:30:37 PM EDT
You heard bullshit. Loose ammo does not explode, it may burst the cartridge case but that's it.

Ops
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:31:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 6:31:42 PM EDT by OBird]

Originally Posted By david_g17:

Originally Posted By OBird:
I've heard that many/most fire departments will not go into your house if you have ammo that's not stored in a fireproof container of some sort.



also, if you drink coke and eat pop-rocks at the same time, your head will explode.



I hope you are right.

I mean, about me being wrong....not about the head exploding thing....
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:31:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 6:33:10 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By OBird:

a big risk if someone actually does get killed by exploding ammo crates







Doesn't work like that.



I've tossed live ammo in fires many times. Try it.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:34:36 PM EDT
Local gun store down the street from where I used to live burned to the ground last year.

Fire department let it burn due to exploding ammo.

The owner of the store said there bullets (projectiles) found across the street that came from
exploding rounds inside the burning store.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:37:35 PM EDT
As a firefighter, it's not so much the rounds that I worry about. It's the reloader who has 50 lbs of powder in half used 8 lb jugs all around the garage or basement.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:38:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 6:39:16 PM EDT by The_Reaper]

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

I've tossed live ammo in fires many times. Try it.



As an experiment, I did try it 18 years ago.

I stood a .223 remington cartridge upright on a piece of plywood.

I piled kindling around it, and sat a wood crate over it
(with one side missing for air flow)

I lit the fire, and took cover.

After the bang, I went to investigate.

The brass shell casing was not deformed at all.
(although I didn't measure it with a micrometer)
The bullet was missing. Never did find it.
But it did manage to leave a dent in the wood crate which was about 24 inches above it.
The dent was only maybe 1/8 of an inch into pine.
Certainly not enough to kill anyone.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:39:21 PM EDT
We have kindly informed the local Fire Department that if our house catches fire, to pleasantly evacuate the neighbors to a safe distance and let it burn for everyones safety.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:45:11 PM EDT
Ive got 15 gallons of nitro, and 3 10 pound NOS bottles screw the ammo. Neighbors house went up a few years ago, he had around 6500 rounds of ammo. Lots of noise, but the firemen didn't care.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:47:26 PM EDT
Watch that 20 lb propane bottle in your grill go KABOOM.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:47:30 PM EDT
If you own your house or have a long term lease, it is rather easy to make a fireproof area. simply frame out a 4x4 area or what you can dedicate to fireproofing, and sheath the whole thing in 3 layers of 5/8 sheetrock. Unless your safe is on the floor above and falls through, thus breaking your fire proofing, I think everything will be fine. Nearly all houses in the US have enough humidity that when the sheetrock heats up, it keeps relatively cool by evaporating the moisture.

that should give you 3-4 hours (at least)of normal fire tempurature proofing, unless something destroys the sheetrock in the process of collapsing.

then make sure the fire guys at least keep the fire to a tolerable level, if they are not able to put it out.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:49:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Ops:
You heard bullshit. Loose ammo does not explode, it may burst the cartridge case but that's it.

Ops



That's the same thing my CCW instructor said. We somehow got off topic and that came up.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:50:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Reaper:
Local gun store down the street from where I used to live burned to the ground last year.

Fire department let it burn due to exploding ammo.

The owner of the store said there bullets (projectiles) found across the street that came from
exploding rounds inside the burning store.




Thats about as far as the bullet would have travelled. Without the chamber to contain the ignition, the brass goes one way, the bullet goes the other. The brass, being lighter, will have greater velocity, but won't go far. The bullet might go tens of feet.

I wouldn't want to be next to a round cooking off without safety glasses.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:50:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 6:52:49 PM EDT by danonly]
besides, how will the fire department know if you have a ton of ammo in the house anyway? If the ammo is starting to cook off and they evacuate, its not like you will want to use any rounds you salvage after the fire is done. who knows what happened to the powder if it heated up but didn't cook off.

my previous post the only weak link would be the door seal- get some palusol or have your door overlap with full sheetrock.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:55:44 PM EDT
Build a box out of a few layers of dry wall. Should provide some fireproofing if needed.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:16:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 7:16:52 PM EDT by thedoctors308]

No, it won't!
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:22:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 7:30:41 PM EDT by danno-in-michigan]
NRA did tests on this and determined that ammo cooking off won't penetrate a fireman's gear.

The NRA had a video. Can't find it, but here's a link to some SAAMI materials: LINK
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:23:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By danonly:
besides, how will the fire department know if you have a ton of ammo in the house anyway? If the ammo is starting to cook off and they evacuate, its not like you will want to use any rounds you salvage after the fire is done. who knows what happened to the powder if it heated up but didn't cook off.

my previous post the only weak link would be the door seal- get some palusol or have your door overlap with full sheetrock.




Like I said in the original post, that idea might be just fine and dandy, but if something DOES happen to a firefighter that's ammo-related, you're in big trouble. Especially if you lie to firefithers on scene and tell them you have no ammo in the house. I'm not too concerned about losing the ammo itself, I'm more concerned about losing the whole house/hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability/or both because of the ammo.


----------

BTW, thanks everyone for the sheetrock suggestion. That sounds a lot more simple than I thought it would be.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:29:11 PM EDT
We won't not try to put the fire in your house out if you have lots of ammo, but please be kind enough to tell us about it anyway when we arrive on scene. There are generally a whole lot more dangerous household items like propane tanks than ammo.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:30:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OBird:

Like I said in the original post, that idea might be just fine and dandy, but if something DOES happen to a firefighter that's ammo-related, you're in big trouble. Especially if you lie to firefithers on scene and tell them you have no ammo in the house. I'm not too concerned about losing the ammo itself, I'm more concerned about losing the whole house/hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability/or both because of the ammo.



Why would you be in trouble? Are there local laws where you live that regulate the amount of ammo you are allowed to have? What if your car explodes in your garage since you filled the gas tank up? Are you in "big trouble"then?

Does your homeowner's policy have a "no ammo" clause?

I hope the fireman are fighting the fire, not interviewing me about my hobbies.



Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:32:22 PM EDT
Well not a bad idea to store in fireproof cases....after all you store you guns in one dont you? I know most of you probly have more ammo than I do and I have around $500 worth. It might not be alot but hey, its still $500.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:33:22 PM EDT
No Picks?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:36:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By OBird:

Like I said in the original post, that idea might be just fine and dandy, but if something DOES happen to a firefighter that's ammo-related, you're in big trouble. Especially if you lie to firefithers on scene and tell them you have no ammo in the house. I'm not too concerned about losing the ammo itself, I'm more concerned about losing the whole house/hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability/or both because of the ammo.



Why would you be in trouble? Are there local laws where you live that regulate the amount of ammo you are allowed to have? What if your car explodes in your garage since you filled the gas tank up? Are you in "big trouble"then?

Does your homeowner's policy have a "no ammo" clause?

I hope the fireman are fighting the fire, not interviewing me about my hobbies.






I'm not sure if you'd get in much trouble if nobody asked and something happened, but - like I said - if a firefighter actually ASKS you "Do you have any ammo (etc.) in the house?", and you say "no", and something actually does happen, you're not exactly putting yourself in an ideal legal (or, for that matter, moral) position if you know what I mean.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:40:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OBird:
I'm not sure if you'd get in much trouble if nobody asked and something happened, but - like I said - if a firefighter actually ASKS you "Do you have any ammo (etc.) in the house?", and you say "no", and something actually does happen, you're not exactly putting yourself in an ideal legal (or, for that matter, moral) position if you know what I mean.



If the fireman asks then it's because he doesn't know how ammo behaves in a fire. Read Hatcher's Notebook. There is a lot of information on this very topic. I once re-wrote and posted one of his stories. Can't find it now.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:45:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:

Originally Posted By OBird:
I'm not sure if you'd get in much trouble if nobody asked and something happened, but - like I said - if a firefighter actually ASKS you "Do you have any ammo (etc.) in the house?", and you say "no", and something actually does happen, you're not exactly putting yourself in an ideal legal (or, for that matter, moral) position if you know what I mean.



If the fireman asks then it's because he doesn't know how ammo behaves in a fire. Read Hatcher's Notebook. There is a lot of information on this very topic. I once re-wrote and posted one of his stories. Can't find it now.



I believe that you're probably right.

However, if a firefighter does ask me such a question, I'm still not going to lie to him, regardless of what he knows or doesn't know. I'd prefer not to potentially risk my entire livelyhood or the potential life of a firefighter on Hatcher's Notebook.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:55:34 PM EDT
I live in an older home that has what used to be a coal storage area under the front porch. The walls, floor and ceiling are all 5 inch thick solid concrete. I cleaned it up, painted it and it now serves as my reloading and ammo storage room. I will be adding a metal door to it this summer. My loaded ammo, and primers are stored in sealed GI ammo cans. That is probably the only part of my house that will survive if we ever have a fire.

My point is that you should look around and see what you already have to work with. If nothing else and old (unplugged) chest freezer to store your ammo in would be better than nothing. You would still need ammo cans, but the freezer insulation would delay the heat buildup and the enclosure would contain the bullets and brass if they did cook off. Look around your house with an open mind and you will probably come up with something you can use. Good luck.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:59:37 PM EDT
Fire departments need education on this subject. If they are in full gear, it is highly unlikely they will even feel anything. Yes, I have fought fires in full turnout gear. Even in the summer, there is more than enough protection.

The most hazardous part of the ammuntion would be the primer as it could have considerable velocity but it will not penetrate the heavy Nomex and insulation. Nomex is tough stuff, unless it is charred but even then, there is the underlying insulation.

Now 10,000 primers is a different story BUT if in original packaging, they will not mass detonate upon exposure to fire. Intense heat, yes.

Propellent would be no different than a similar mass of gasoline.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:04:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Why would you be in trouble? Are there local laws where you live that regulate the amount of ammo you are allowed to have? What if your car explodes in your garage since you filled the gas tank up? Are you in "big trouble"then?

Does your homeowner's policy have a "no ammo" clause?

I hope the fireman are fighting the fire, not interviewing me about my hobbies.



The first thing we do when we get to a fire is whats called a scene size-up, where we assess the fire, the structure, potential hazards, whether the fire can be fought offensively or defensively, and if there are people who need to be rescued, etc. Its very possible that the Incident commander will ask the home/property owner about stuff inside the house. Now you don't need to know or tell us about every single bottle of cleaning solution or whatever, but its nice to know if you have 5000 rds of ammo in a closet or 50 lbs of blackpower in your garage or whatever. At least so when the ammo starts going off we know whats going on.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:08:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 8:10:49 PM EDT by MonkTx]
I love the deadly, exploding ammo myth.

...and you can dissolve metal with a coke, and Mister Rogers was a marine on Iwo Jima with Captain Kangaroo and ...
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:10:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
Read Hatcher's Notebook. There is a lot of information on this very topic.



+ 11billion

Hatcher's Notebook
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:30:46 PM EDT
There was an extensive test and article about this subject in the March 1996 issue of American Rifleman, it's on pg 36 of that issue. Their tests showed that ammo in a house fire poses no danger to Fire Fighters, the fragments aren't capable of penetrating the bunker gear they wear.


"Not the hazard it's thought to be" was General Hatcher's verdict 4 decades ago, and a new test bears him out.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 8:32:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 8:40:34 PM EDT by txgp17]
www.saami.org/ship.html
Sporting Ammunition and the Firefighter, which was produced by the Committee many years ago. The video analyzes the characteristics associated with the small arms ammunition when it is subjected to severe impact and fire. When a primer ignites, it causes the propellant to burn which creates gases which, when under pressure in a firearm, send the bullet down the barrel. Pressure created by the propellant being burned is what discharges a bullet. As such, loose ammunition in a fire does not result in bullets being discharged because the propellant is not burning under pressure. The video, which has been widely circulated to fire departments, concludes that while ammunition produces a popping sound when it burns, there is no mass detonation of the ammunition, any projectiles are of low velocity, and there is no threat to firefighters in their standard turn-out gear.

ETA - There are far more dangerous things in your home than ammo.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosgene
Phosgene (also known as carbonyl chloride, COCl2) is a highly toxic gas or refrigerated liquid that was used as a chemical weapon in World War I but is also used to make plastics and pesticides. Phosgene can also result from the combustion of chlorine-containing organic compounds.

Phosgene is a particularly insidious poison, as phosgene exposure often has no initial symptoms. Symptoms usually appear within 24 hours, but can take up to 72 hours to manifest. The gas combines with water in the tissues of the respiratory tract to form carbon dioxide and hydrochloric acid. The acid then dissolves the membranes in the lungs. Fluid fills the lungs, and death results from a combination of blood loss, shock, and respiratory failure. Phosgene is also an eye and skin irritant. It can also be a contaminant in food or water.
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