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by the NFCC



Hazard Knowledge

The term munitions includes:

  • Firearms and other military weapons
  • Ammunition, such as shells, cartridges or bullets

There is the potential for fire and rescue service personnel to encounter munitions. Although often associated with the military, munitions may be encountered in the form of guns, shells and cartridges at various locations, for example:

  • Gun clubs
  • Firing ranges
  • Farms and rural environment
  • Veterinary surgeons
  • Military and defence establishments
  • Police stations
  • Zoos and wildlife parks
  • Abattoirs
  • Television and film production

The use and storage of firearms is regulated under the Firearms Rules, the Firearms (Scotland) Rules and the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order. However, appropriate secure storage regulations may not always be adhered to. Munitions may be encountered in unexpected areas, as unspent cartridges, or where being stored in quantities that are above the allowed limit.

The use of munitions is normally within controlled environments such as a firing range; however they may also be used in the rural environment for hunting or gun sports. Exposure to live munitions may result in death or serious injury. Personnel could be exposed to loud noise if in the vicinity of live firing, particularly if the range is enclosed.

If involved in fire, munitions may pose a significant hazard to personnel and members of the public.