Throughout history, the United States’ ability to maintain a well-trained military force has required the use of military munitions in live-fire training and testing. This use may have resulted in the presence of unexploded ordnance, also known as UXO, and munitions debris in areas currently or formerly used for military training purposes. Military munitions, especially UXO, should be considered extremely hazardous because if touched, moved or disturbed they may explode causing death, serious injury or damage.
To protect yourself, your family, your friends and your community, it is important to follow the 3Rs of Explosives Safety should you know or suspect you have come across a military munition:
|Recognize – when you may have come across a munition, and that munitions are dangerous.
|Retreat – do not approach, touch, move, or disturb a suspect munition, but carefully leave the area.
|Report – immediately what you saw and where you saw it to local law enforcement – call 911.
Important Safety Considerations
In addition to following the 3Rs of Explosives Safety, it is also important to keep the following in mind:
- Munitions are not souvenirs or keepsakes. Even if a munition has been in your or a loved one’s possession for many years, it may pose an explosive hazard. Call 911 to request assistance. Even if handled repeatedly in the past, do not move or disturb it.
- Take note of the area where you suspect you came across a munition after moving carefully away from it so that emergency responders know where to look for the item.
- On public lands or at sea, avoid areas where munitions may be encountered and follow any posted warnings.
- Do not use cell phones or other electronic devices near a suspect munition.
3Rs of Explosives Safety Information and Additional Resources
Additional information about the 3Rs of Explosives Safety is available from the Department of Defense’s 3Rs of Explosives Safety website.
The website provides information about military munitions including UXO. It also contains downloadable materials such as fact sheets, safety guides and coloring books that you can share with your children, family members, friends, tenants, employees and others who should know about explosives safety.