Skip to comments.UPDATE: Legislator's Wife Injured in Home Explosion
Posted on 10/01/2012 9:10:46 AM PDT by marktwain
An Idaho state representatives wife was injured Saturday after a room converted to a gun safe exploded at her home.
Amy Wood, wife of Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, was taken by air ambulance to an unspecified Utah hospital suffering from second-degree burns to her face and hands.
The incident occurred at 8:11 p.m., according to Burley Fire Chief Keith Martin. On Saturday evening, Martin said the owners of the home at 100 S. 147 E. were eating dinner when they heard a sound like a 747 coming from the basement.
Gunpowder is safer to store than gasoline or propane.
When I say the gun powder was “set off”, I mean ignited. It is difficult to obtain an actual explosion from modern gunpowder. It is designed, to just burn very rapidly.
If the gases from the burning are contained, you can get a very low level explosion, similar to that of a propane explosion.
A gas leak is generally the cause of home explosions.
The most dangerous thing for storing ammunition is the age of the ammo, how it was loaded (reloaded), and what the humidity in storage is.
I keep a dehumidifier running 24 hours a day in my basement, and I don’t even reload. I also keep my ammo in fireproof file safes and inspect regularly for corrosion, etc.....
I have about 500 left of 600 rounds of WCC 42 45 ACP ball ammo that is circa US 1942 that I’ve been watching...recently went to the range and shot 100 rounds flawlessly (only trouble is the propellant is corrosive and the gun needs to be cleaned very well afterwards....)
“It is designed, to just burn very rapidly.”
It is designed to burn very rapidly, rather than to detonate. Modern gunpowders are propellants, not explosives.
Reloading/powder was my first thought too just seeing the headline. The burns to the hands and face are certainly suggestive: whatever did the burning was something she was handling and interested in.
Whatever happened, there was almost certainly some degree of negligence involved. I just hope it wasn’t so bad as checking how much 4985 is left in the jug by using a match as a light source...
An alternate method is to store your ammo in zip-lock bags, in a surplus steel ammo can with good rubber seals. If you store your ammo away in winter when in-house humidity is low, then it should keep for a while.
If it was gunpowder stored in cans and you had an initial flash fire from powder in the open the heat might cause the cans to cook off and explode or burn like a flaming fountain, maybe with a “747” roar.
The exploding room had probably been in cahoots with an evil SUV.
They'll spin it as bomb making gone wrong in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
There are three separate issues in your statement.
From what I have read, age produces little degradation if the ammunition is stored in a cool, dry place.
How the ammunition was reloaded can be critical for how safe the ammunition is, but that is the safety of the ammunition, which is a related by separate issue, IMHO.
Humidity is very important, but it does not make the ammunition more dangerous, just less reliable.
Heat, humidity, and petroleum products seem to be the biggest enemies of ammuniton for long term storage.
I do not recall anything about long term storage of conventional ammunition that would make it subject to detonation.
This is common with the storage of dynamite, where the nitroglycerin in the dynamite slowly separates form the filler and creates an incredibly dangerous situation. The nitroglycerin can be set off very easily by friction or shock.
IMHO, small arms ammunition is far less dangerous to store than gasoline or propane.
That’s the way I’d do it if I didn’t have the dehumidfier....
You have to consider a whole range of things. How corrosive is the propellant? Were the primers sealed/coated? (Humidity can degrade coatings.)
Have the primers bulged? Is is a Berdan or Boxer primer?
Storing ammo with leather and copper can cause the copper to corrode. Acid or veg tanning in the leather can give that green patina very very quickly...I have several examples of this. Storing ammo in a leather cartridge belt or pouch isn’t a good idea, no matter what the tanning process.
Lastly, I don’t store dynamite so I don’t know...I only know about the rounds I have from 1942 and some from before that and what I’ve seen over 30 years of storage. The best thing I did was cool dry basement and the humidifiers...
I’m a little confused here. The owners were eating dinner. This wasn’t her home. There must be more to this story.
It’s poorly written. I think it was her home.
Water heater maybe?
I’m surprised it wasn’t Keith Ellison’s (M-Minn) wife...
Can only say; despite the misfire - so to speak - wish continue 'power' to Rep. Wood and his family; and do hope his wife is 'okay'. . .
I hope people are suggesting that powder spontaneously combusts.
I forgot the the "not." :(