General safety Edit
- Beware of all electrical systems. Before cutting a wire be sure you know what you are cutting. For safety's sake always wear plastic or rubber gloves and use insulated cutters.
- Do not cut fuel pipes unless absolutely necessary.
- With pneumatic systems, beware in case there is still pressure in the system. If in doubt use a bradawl or small drill to make a hole and release any pressure before cutting.
- Beware when cutting hydraulic systems that the pipe is not under pressure - as noted above drill first if in doubt. Also, beware that the cutting of a pipe does not release the pressure that is holding the machine - the machine could move or jibs could drip on you.
- Do not wear baggy clothes or allow you hair to wave about - they may get caught in machinery and cause you injury, or trap you.
- Do not cut any 'safety' systems such as brakes, fire alarms, etc.
- Never climb any structure or equipment where you may fall, or become trapped.
- IF IN DOUBT ABOUT THE EFFECT OF ANY ACTION - DON'T DO IT!!
- Do not initiate any fire where you cannot be sure of limiting the effects to a small, specific area.
- Do not start a fire where large quantities of fuel or chemicals are present.
- When cutting/grinding match heads, cut the coating from the wood with a sharp knife. To grind use the back of a wooden spoon, on a wooden surface, to press down. Move the spoon slowly - do not bang it down. Always make sure that you never grind more than one or two heaped teaspoons of heads at a time in case they catch fire. Never store more than a cup full of ground heads in the same place. Always wear gloves.
- If you need to grind ammonium fertiliser, use the same precautions as for match heads. Always wear gloves when handling the material.
- When mixing ammonium nitrate, charcoal and sugar, never mix more than a kilo at a time. Carefully stir the contents together inside a metal saucepan using a wooden spoon. When stirred, transfer directly to a plastic bag and seal it. Never store the powder in close proximity to match heads until you set up the device, and never put either match heads or powder in a bag where they will clanks and bang together with your tools. Preferably put them in a box which is impact resistant.
- Never keep petrol or solvents in a plastic bottle.
- Never connect the battery to an electrically fused system unless you have first checked that the switches are not active.
Other considerations Edit
The other main precaution must be to ensure that your activities do not in themselves cause environmental pollution. Opening the pipes on a large fuel storage tank could cause massive pollution. Likewise setting fire to a farmer's barn full of pesticides could create a major catastrophe.
As well as the common sense things like not releasing fuel, always remember that you actions could cause problems later. If you cut power cables, and short the wires because your cutters were not sharp, when the systems is turned on you could cause a short that might start a fire. For safety's sake, it is a good idea to develop some sort of calling card to tell people you were there, or at least use a marker pen to leave a warning to the owners/operators.
The most important thing to take with you into an action is your common sense.