Unexploded ordnance (UXO) can be found anywhere, on land or at sea, and it’s important to be vigilant to the risks if you come across a device that has not detonated.
UXO ranges in size from bullets and hand grenades, to large anti-tank land mines and air-dropped bombs weighing hundreds of pounds.
All of the above can cause serious injury and loss of life, as well as costly damage to property, so if you ever see something that looks like UXO – or you’re just not sure – here are the do’s and don’ts of UXO to keep in mind.
First and foremost, don’t be tempted to poke around in an attempt to identify the item. If there’s a risk it is an explosive device, leave it well alone.
A false alarm is preferable to an explosive incident. Call the professionals and we will gladly come and check to make sure of what we’re dealing with.
Do conduct a UXO survey
It’s even better if you check in advance for any UXO risks, especially on construction sites or anywhere where the ground will be disturbed.
A UXO survey can look for metallic objects below ground, or buried in the seabed, so they can be removed and disposed of safely.
Do set up a cordon
If you find a possible explosive during work, immediately vacate the area and set up a safety cordon – and make sure everybody on-site knows what has happened.
Until a bomb disposal squad has confirmed the area is safe, it should be an absolute no-go, and you should assume there is a real risk of an explosion even if you’re not sure you have found a bomb.
Don’t move, excavate or bury it
People do all sorts of things to UXOs. Some choose to dig out around the device for a better look at it, others bury it and pretend they never saw it, and some move it ‘to a safe place’ for the authorities to come and deal with it.
The best option is to leave it exactly where it is, don’t disturb it or the ground around it, and let the professionals come immediately to confirm it is safe – do not dig it out, bury it, or try to move it elsewhere.
Do get a description and photos (if it’s safe to do so)
Finally, if you can safely see the item from a distance, try to get a detailed description and/or photos of it so you can tell us what we’re looking for.
This includes the general size and shape of the object, any obvious colourings or markings, and the circumstances of how and where you found it – this all helps us to know if it’s likely we are looking for an explosive, or if it might be something else that’s safe to approach.
Here at UXO Groundworks, we are able to carry out UXO risk assessments, UXO mitigation, detection, clearance, demolition, marine services, on-site support and safety training. Our experts have a wide range of knowledge from clearance on land and at sea. We are available 24/7/365 across the UK & Worldwide.
Fill in the form via our contact page, or give us a call to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of UXO and if there’s a potential risk of UXO in your area:
Karl – 07708692551
John – 07788552071