The Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) plays a vital role in regulating and educating the explosives industry and in protecting the public from inadequate storage and security. Federal explosives law and regulations provide requirements and standards for the secure storage of explosives materials. To maximize the effects of regulatory compliance, the following voluntary suggestions, developed in partnership with the International Makers of Explosives and the International Society of Explosives Engineers, may serve as a helpful guide.
Secure Your Keys
■ Restrict access to the keys for your storage magazines and trucks loaded with explosives to essential personnel only.
■ Keep the keys in a secure, unmarked area, preferably not in a central location at the premises.
■ Have employees use a logbook to indicate when they remove and return keys. It can enhance security and help track down missing keys.
■ Consider numbering or marking keys and assigning them to specific individuals.
■ If you do not share keys, conduct regular inventories of keys to ensure that you can account for all your keys.
■ Change magazine locks if you lose keys or they remain in the possession of terminated employees. This will help ensure that only current employees have access to your magazines.
■ Make it company policy that employees do not duplicate keys without authorization.
Secure Your Magazines
■ Federal explosives regulations require licensees and permittees to keep their magazines in secure locations and inspect them visually every seven days. Consider inspecting readily accessible magazines daily. This will help ensure that there has been no unauthorized or attempted unauthorized entry to the magazine and will allow you to assess and correct any security or safety vulnerabilities that may be present.
■ Even if your explosives magazines meet the table of distances requirements, consider reassessing your magazine locations to ensure that they are in the most secure locations.
■ Consider conducting regular inventories more often than once per year to ensure that there have been no thefts/losses of explosive materials.
■ Have all applicable federal, state and local agency telephone numbers readily available to report a theft, loss or suspicious activity.
Secure Your Storage Site
■ Limit access to explosives storage sites to essential personnel to limit the exposure of the magazines to theft or tampering.
■ Consider installing fences, floodlights, alarms, security cameras, locked gates, or other security devices at the site to better monitor the location. Post alarm-monitoring signs in highly visible places to deter unauthorized access.
■ Contact your local law enforcement agency and establish a rapport with the officers who routinely patrol your area. Familiarize them with your business hours so that they can alert you when people are present during off hours.
■ Your employees are essential to securing your explosives. Train them to recognize what constitutes a suspicious customer or an unusual transaction, and to respond to thefts, losses or emergencies involving explosive materials.
■ Other agencies such as OSHA, MSHA or state agencies may have additional rules and requirements for securing storage sites. Contact these agencies for information on their requirements.
Know Your Employees
■ The best way to know who is working for you is to update your list of responsible persons and employee possessors frequently.
■ Establish an internal program to review and update these checks as required.
Know Your Vendors
■ Encourage your employees to recognize the vendors who service your facility. Have the vendors’ telephone number(s) readily available to help your employees contact a vendor if they need to verify unknown individuals who claim to be from the vendor.
■ Have vendors check in and receive identification badges while at your facility. Escort vendors throughout your facility.