Homemade Explosives: Current and Emerging Threats

August Vernon details a variety of homemade explosives that pose a serious threat to responding firefighters and other emergency workers.

Responders and special teams must also be able to recognize the potential danger of booby traps and take appropriate measures to ensure their own safety and the safety of others. Booby traps, or anti-personnel devices (APDs), can be used as weapons against emergency responders. Those involved in drug trafficking or production use booby traps to protect their investments, serve as warning devices and to help allow their escape from a location. Typically, these devices will be discovered when conducting routine activities. Booby traps can be designed to be concealed or look like ordinary items.



Safety is paramount for responders at these types of events. Domestic and international terrorists and criminals are constantly improving their methods, so continuous responder training is important.

The more our public safety agencies prepare, the greater the chance they will effectively manage any type of situation that may arise. If an IED incident or explosives lab incident occurs in the United States, trained and educated responders can help lessen the impact with a safe and effective response.