BLAST PROTECTION 101
Blast protection is typically required for the following applications:
All inhabited buildings owned or leased by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) are subject to the minimum anti-terrorism standards of UFC 4-010-01. In the most recent editions this standard requires proven blast resistance of all windows and doors. Based on the site conditions and building configurations, blast forces can reach high levels and require proof-of-performance by either static testing, dynamic testing, or engineering computation.
Higher level of protection DoD buildings are subject to blast forces from conventional weapons, based on a site-specific threat assessment and analysis according to UFC 3-340-01: Design and Analysis of Hardened Structures for Conventional Weapons Effects. Compliance with this standard can require bullet and shrapnel resistance in addition to blast resistance for doors, windows, and HVAC louvers.
High profile attacks on the U.S. Embassy and Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut in 1983 prompted the U.S. State Department to start requiring blast protection and other security measures at its overseas facilities. The next decade, the Oklahoma City Bombing prompted the General Services Administration (GSA) to create the Interagency Security Committee (ISC) to address blast and security concerns at its properties.
Today, the vast majority of new construction and rehabilitation projects for these agencies produce construction specifications that require blast resistant windows and doors to be tested or analyzed to resist required loads.
Despite great advances in safety protocols, accidental explosions in industrial facilities still occur each year. Industry standards such as API RP-752 advocate the use of blast resistant enclosures to mitigate the effects of explosion, fire, and poisonous gas as part of a larger Quantitative Risk Assessment or QRA. Many projects in this arena adopt provisions of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE’s) Design of Blast-Resistant Buildings in Petrochemical Facilities. Click on one of the prodcuts on the left to learn how to get certified.