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New storage requirements came into effect from the 26 April 2005.

Black Powder must be stored in a wooden box. The Maximum amount of Nitro or Shooting Powder that an individual can hold is 5Kg

The maximum Black Powder that an individual can hold is 10 Kg plus 5 Kg of either Black Powder or Shooters Powder (Nitro Powder)

If you wish to store more, you will need to register as an explosives store

All Black Powder must be stored in a plastic container of no more then 550 grams

The box illustrated in the Approved Code of Practice is designed to contain 4.5 Kg i.e. 9 X 0.5kG Plastic bottles. You may need more then one box

The following is from the Approved Code of Practice

The powder must be kept in containers with no more
than 550 grams of powder per container.
The containers
must be constructed in such a way that, in the event of a
fire they do not provide additional containment that will
increase the explosive force of any deflagration.
Normally plastic/polythene or paper/cloth containers will
be suitable for this purpose. Metal containers with a
screw cap, or a push-in lid (ie similar to a paint tin
lid) must not be used.
412. Although shooters’ powders are generally not very
sensitive to ignition by electrostatic discharge,
homeloaders or others who decant the contents of plastic
containers must take care to reduce the risk of build up
of static electricity. Advice on appropriate precautions
may be sought from the manufacturer.
413. The containers of powder must be kept in a box
constructed of plywood with a minimum thickness of 18 mm
– or material with an equal or greater fire and physical
resistance. (Health and Safety Laboratory tests found
that 18 mm plywood offered 15 minutes’ fire resistance.
24 mm plywood offered 30 minutes’ fire resistance).
414. Metal boxes, including ammunition boxes, are not
suitable and must not be used.
This is because, firstly
while metal is fire resistant it also transmits heat very
well and secondly, because the metal container adds
additional containment that significantly increases the
explosive power of the powder. It should be noted that
the requirements in this paragraph replace guidance
permitting the keeping of black powder in a lacquered or
tinned iron or steel trunk or box contained in the
publication A guide to the Control of Explosives
Regulations 1991 (HSE ISBN 0 11 885670 7).
415. Where the box holds more than one container, each
individual container must be separated by a 6 mm wooden
partition that is securely fixed to the outer walls of
the box. Each compartment must allow 30% additional
height between the top of the container and the inside of
the lid.


416. It is a good idea to put an intumescent strip around
the edges of the lid to give a good seal.
417. Figure 1 shows a box that would meet the
requirements set out in the previous paragraphs.
Figure 1: Storage of shooters’ powder: note intumescent strip on box lid
418. It is important to remember anyone storing shooters
powders must take due precautions to prevent unauthorised
access to the powders. Where the room storing the
explosives is not secured with a suitable lock and alarm
system, the police will require that the box should meet
certain minimum requirements. These are as follows:
• securely fixed, robust steel hinges; and
• a secure hasp used with a security-grade padlock.
Anyone requiring more information about security
requirements should contact their Police Explosives
Liaison Officer.
419. The box should be constructed so that there is no
exposed metal on the inside. Internal nuts must be
covered by a glued wooden liner not less than 6 mm. The
box must not be kept in any form of metal box, drawer or
420. The box must not be located:
• under or near any means of access or escape, for
example under stairs;
• in the same room as flammable liquids;
• in areas where there are risks of fire


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