1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Radio/Cell Phone Use during Bomb Threats

    Does anyone have any distances, away from a building, that it would be considered safe to use a radio or cell phone during a bomb threat?


  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Under NFPA 495 (Explosive Material Code), 7-1.16:
    (a) The posting of signs warning against the use of mobile radio transmitters on all roads within 350 ft of blasting operations
    (b) Observance of the latest recommendations with regard to blasting in the vicinity of radio transmitters or power lines

    So, as an initial "perimeter" I would use 350 feet.
    Second, part (b) above in the appendix says to consult the IME Safety Library Publication No. 20, Safety Guide for the Prevention of Radio Frequency Radiation Hazards in the Use of Commercial Electric Detonators"
    I don't have a copy of this...it can be bought of $4.50 through http://www.ime.org/safetypublications.htm

    So that would probably have a better answer for you...

    Now, this only protects against the radio directly triggering the explosives. One can imagine all sorts of scenarios where someone could put a scanner hooked up to the bomb to trigger it when a radio was keyed up...maybe a secondary device, set to have poor reception on the responding agency's mobile's transmit frequency...doesn't go off until someone keys up on scene...yuck!

    As with all terrorist attacks, they're gonna go for the expected...so have procedures in place that change...if you have a bomb threat, maybe you standby at the second furthest out hydrant, instead of hitting the closest one; maybe you switch to a seldom used frequency to operate on. This is to help thwart secondary devices, where the first bomb is just a lure to get the Emergency Services in close for the kill.


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Thanks for the information. We are preparing a S.O.P. on bomb threats and other responses to school incidents and that question popped up. I appreciate your time and effort.

  4. #4
    George Wendt, CFI
    Firehouse.com Guest


    You also need to remember that cell phone transmissioms are not secure. Use of the cell phone by a FD/PD/EMS should be limited. If you don't want the bomber to hear what you are saying, don't use it.

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