Disposing of Bomb Threats
Blast mitigation devices, such as bomb-resistant waste receptacles, are being deployed to defend one of the softest terrorist targets. A necessity for waste management, trash receptacles pose a serious potential threat to public safety and infrastructure security, considering how easily they can conceal an explosive device.
A trash receptacle can become part of an attack, thus maximizing the intensity of the explosion by spraying shrapnel and fragmentation at great distances. A terrorist attack using ordinary trash receptacles and remote-activated or time-delayed explosive devices can be easily coordinated to strike multiple sites simultaneously or in stages, without exposing the terrorist.
Agencies and facilities considering deployment of bomb-resistant trash receptacles must exercise good judgment when purchasing and installing this technology. In order to maintain an edge over the terrorist, agencies and facilities should not publicize the amount of explosives their bomb receptacles are able to withstand during an explosion.
In addition to protecting the explosive containment ratings and not disclosing the installation locations for newly purchased bomb receptacles, it is vital to understand how a bomb receptacle was tested to ensure its reliability during an actual terrorist attack.
Detonation tests must be conducted to determine the actual amount of explosives a particular bomb receptacle can withstand, which is referred to as the explosive containment rating.
During testing, it is essential to anchor all bomb receptacles to a steel and concrete slab to create a real-life deployment scenario. Tests conducted on a dirt surface are misleading because the majority of the blast energy is absorbed by the ground instead of the receptacle, which will be doing all of the work during an actual attack.
An official test report will confirm how a receptacle was tested, ensuring an accurate explosives containment rating. The report should come from a recognized U.S. testing facility and must include the type of explosives used, how the explosives were packed, and what the explosives were packed inside of to ensure an equal charge was used for every test. To successfully pass testing, a bomb receptacle must remain standing after the explosion, the stainless steel top must remain attached to the receptacle and there can be no penetration to the outer wall of the receptacle.
During an explosion in a bomb-resistant trash receptacle, the initial blast energy and fragmentation are contained horizontally and the remaining blast energy is directed vertically. For this reason, the garbage liner that holds the trash bags in place should be made of a plastic material as opposed to metal, because parts of the liner will become airborne during an explosion.
To create a real-life deployment scenario, bomb-resistant trash receptacles should be anchored during testing. It is important from a security standpoint to know the product is tested exactly how it will be installed. Bomb receptacles that can pass a legitimate series of explosive tests and follow the required parameters for obtaining an accurate explosive containment rating will most likely weigh more than 1,000 pounds, depending on the amount of explosives they were developed to withstand. During an attack, a bomb receptacle could tip, roll, and gain a tremendous amount of momentum, endangering anybody in its path. For this reason and given the weight of each receptacle, it is recommended that all bomb receptacles be anchored when they are installed.
The bomb receptacle (in the accompanying pictures) integrates a single-point stainless steel anchoring system that will withstand 4,000 pounds of shear (horizontal) and tension (vertical) force.
Unfortunately, there are currently no official standards for vendors to comply with when developing bomb-resistant waste receptacles. There are also no restrictions placed on buyers when purchasing this technology. This makes it important to ask the right questions and exercise good judgment when purchasing and deploying this technology.
Grant Haber is president of American Innovations Inc., Spring Valley, N.Y. For more information about these bomb resistant waste receptacles, or to watch the actual video footage from the product testing, visit: www.bombreceptacles.com or call 845-371-3333.