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Detroit Struck with Two Chemical Explosion Incidents in a Month

A few weeks ago a chemical explosion took place at a GM plant in Detroit, Michigan. Firefighters were called to the General Motors plant  in order to suppress the chemical fire the explosion ignited. In chemical explosion incidents, the typical response team must battle the fire with extreme caution and care in order to not excite further chemical reactions. Some chemical explosions incidents are even caused by a worker who is uneducated in proper chemical disposal techniques pouring water on a spill to clean or douse a small flame. This incident was caused by a pump failure, but it was no less dangerous for the firefighters. Luckily however, The explosion only burned one employee severe enough to warrant a visit to the hospital. The other two employees were sent home after on-site treatment and assessments. A local paper quoted the Deputy Fire Commissioner, David Fornell saying, “The call came in about 10:03 a.m. reporting an explosion in the plant. Our first responding units found that there was, what they call a pressure pump, had exploded it was a relatively minor explosion. One person suffered minor burns to the face and was transported to Detroit Receiving.”

The employees of the General Motors plant were very lucky to have the chemical explosion situated immediately managed by the quick response fire team. The City of Detroit however, was not so lucky. A few weeks after the General Motors plant incident took place, a chemical explosion at a Global Titanium happened early in the morning. The same fire department responded to the fire. This incident was caused by a small explosion in the area of the plant where magnesium is processed. Fornell commented on the second incident as well saying, “Magnesium, when it ignites, it burns with a white-hot heat, and you can’t use water to put it out. The water turns to steam and causes minor explosions, which spreads the material.” This statement touches on the explanation for why this particular fire was battled with sand and rock salt. The workers at the plant had been warned about using water to put out fires ignited from magnesium, as it was part of their trainging. Fornell said, “They knew what they were doing. These people deal with this every day. They’re trained; it’s their job. They’ve got the equipment, they’ve got the expertise, they know what valves to turn on and off. There’s no damage to the structure.”


Accidents happen, and so does bad luck. The two incidents in Detroit could’ve been extremely unfortunate if not for the preparedness of the Deputy Fire Commissioner and the workers at the Global Titanium plant. The regulations put in place when businesses deal with different chemicals are also not always enough to deal with the day to day probability of something going wrong. If Murphy’s Law is to be believed, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” than it is in every company’s best interest to be as prepared as possible. Following the rules and regulations put in place by OSHA and the National Chemical Safety Board are a great place to start, but if you want real results and reliable oppurtunities to prevent chemical incidents than U.S. HAZMAT Rentals Storage Lockers are what you need. We take all the guesswork out of your hands, and place it in the hands of our professionals team. You let us know what you need a Storage Locker for and we will get right to the bottom of the rules and compliances needed in order to get you the correct product. IF you’re worried about something like the incidents above harming your employees or your business than consider our Large Explosive Storage Magazine.


This prefabricated, portable, self-contained Type IV outdoor magazine is constructed to be fire, weather and theft resistant. These large size magazines meet or exceed ATF standards and conform to Article 77 of the 1997 Uniform Fire Code.

Large Explosive Magazine Storage Armoire Rental Building

Features of the large explosive storage magazine include:

  • 12 Gauge Steel Exterior
  • 3/4″ Plywood or Hardwood Interior
  • 2 Hasps and Crane Hooks

The 12 gauge steel exterior provides unmatched protection for your explosive materials. This storage magazine contains a ¾” plywood or hardwood interior, which is non-sparking, ensuring the safest environment for your explosive storage. This storage magazine comes equipped with 2 hasps for additional security and crane hooks for your convenience. As always, our large explosive storage magazines are built with the highest quality components, and are engineered for the highest safety and security. Use our large explosive storage magazine outdoors for the storage of high and low explosives, detonators, blasting caps, pyrotechnics, ammunition, and other ordnance.

At US Hazmat Rentals, our goal is to help you achieve compliance with your explosive storage requirements. This means that we bring you only the highest safety standards in explosive materials storage. Rather than pouring money into a lifelong hazmat storage unit, come to US Hazmat Rentals for rental magazine, so that you only have it during the time you need it. We make sure that all of our explosive storage magazines are the safest in the industry before they roll out the door. We keep explosive storage magazines readily available for you to rent at your convenience.

August 1, 2017
Chris White

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