Lightning Protection

Du Pont de Nemours Powder Co., of Wilmington, Del., have gone into this subject more deeply than any of the above-mentioned bureaus, and have a treatise on the subject, based on the experiments made at the experimental station on Mount Blanc some 10 years ago. The consensus of opinion seems to be that unless very carefully designed lightning-prevention equipment is installed, such as the Faraday cage system, properly grounded, it were better not to attempt the installation of lightning rods or steel lightning fences.


There seems to be a general feeling in regard to the need of ventilation for the storage of pyrotechnics, the main argument in its favor being that, in hot weather, ventilation will tend to reduce excessive temperature in the magazines.

Recommendations are as follows:

Ventilators of approved design to be placed in roof of each compartment and also ventilators in each door to provide circulation, these ventilators to be properly protected with heavy wire screen.

All ventilators to be storm- and weather-proof.


It is generally recommended that no artificial lights be used in any of the storage magazines, and that, where windows are used for lighting purposes, translucent fireproof glass be used, with wire-screen protection.

Recommendations are as follows:

No windows to be provided.

No artificial lighting to be provided.

Where artificial lighting is required, electric hand torch to be used, but it is strongly recommended that the storage house be entered and necessary work performed during daylight.


A variety of suggestions have been made in regard to the proper maintenance of the storage magazines, the principal points, however, being that the surrounding grounds should be kept free from brush, to avoid the possibility of fires, and that a vegetation-free path should surround each of the magazines not less than 10 feet from the walls of the magazines.

Recommendations are as follows:

No smoking or carrying of matches to be allowed.

Each compartment to be carefully and periodically inspected.

Not more than two men to enter building at one time.

All fire-protection apparatus to be kept ready for instant use.

Grounds to be kept clear of brush and rubbish.

Where freight cars are used for receiving or delivering goods, they are to be immediately loaded or unloaded and taken from the premises.

When repairs and alterations are required, all material must be carefully removed and the compartment thoroughly cleaned.

Provide adequate inspection to see that all requirements are observed.

Piling And Handling Of Packages

The following recommendations are made on the above subject:

Each particular kind of pyrotechnic material to be segregated into separate rooms.

Care must be used in the handling of packages, especially those containing detonating daps.

When convenient, as is the case with the aeroplane flare, the detonating cap to be removed and stored separately.

It is recommended that not over 500,000 pounds of gross pyrotechnic material be stored in any one building.

All packages or cases to be piled so they are readily accessible by means of aisles, and each package or case spaced from the floor and from each other to provide ventilation.

The greatest care must be taken to avoid shocks and falls.

When an inclined chute is used, such chute to be constructed of planed boards not less than 1 inch in thickness, with side guards extending not less than 3 inches above the top face of bottom of chute and throughout its length, fastened with brass screws; D-shaped strips or runners, not more than 6 inches apart and running lengthwise of the chute, to be fastened to the upper pegs extending through the bottom board of the chute and through the runners. Chutes should be occasionally wiped down with waste moistened with machine oil when packages are being handled. A stuffed mattress, not less than 4 feet wide by 6 feet long, and not less than 4 inches thick, or a heavy jute or hemp mat of like dimensions, must be placed under the discharging end of the chute while packages are being handled.

Testing Pyrotechnic Units

Recommendations are made:

That the pyrotechnic units to be stored be carefully sampled and that a record of their compositions be placed on file prior to the placing of them in storage.

That periodically (not less than once in 6 months) samples be withdrawn from the several magazines representing the several lots analyzed and comparison made to demonstrate whether or not there is any deterioration taking place.

That physical tests also be made upon these units in order to determine whether they will function in accordance with the original specifications.