Click to download a pdf copy: Blasting 101 


Blasting 101


Q & A:

1.   What entity regulates blasting in the state of West Virginia?

     Blasting is regulated by the West Virginia Fire Commission-Office of the State Fire Marshal in

     Charleston, WV.  A blasting contractor should be licensed with this state office.

2.   What document outlines all the regulations regarding explosives in the West Virginia and where        can I find it?

     The WV State Fire Code Title 87-01, Section 2.2.o through 2.2.s or pages 15 to 21 of the pdf copy that

     can be found on the FUOA website or with this pdf link: Fire Code.  As you will see on the copy, this

     amendment to the existing legislative rule was recently effective 8/1/2020.

3.  What do the FUOA regulations indicate?  Here's the pdf link: FUOA Blasting Regulation

     In the “Design Guidelines and Design Review Process for Fernbank at Cress Creek - Appendix 2:       

    Regulations” (or page 19 of the actual manual on the website copy) states:       



       In the interest of all owners and contractors, the following regulations shall be enforced during the construction

       period. These regulations shall be a part of the construction contract document specifications for each     

       residence, and all contractors and owners shall abide by these regulations. It is also required that the

       contractor be familiar with and abide by the applicable sections of the Declaration and the Guidelines.


       Any plans to blast shall be brought to the attention of the ARC before commencement and shall be approved

       by the ARC. The ARC shall generally permit blasting only on weekdays. Proper safety and protective actions

       shall be used.

       State and County regulations for licensing requirements for blasting shall hold including proper notification

       and seismographic procedures that are required.

See the introduction to Appendix 2 for an explanation of the legal basis for the above regulation.

4.  How does the Fernbank resident become informed of what “proper safety and protective         

     actions” are being used in the case that blasting should take place in the vicinity of their 


    On the FUOA website, there are 13 questions that came from discussions with the WV State Fire

    Marshal's Office that resident homeowners should ask the prospective residents and their contractor

    concerning proposed blasting for new construction.

      See pdf link:  13 Questions You Should Ask

All of the approved 13 questions cited in #4 are important, yet the remainder of this newsletter article intends to convey the major categories addressed by these questions. 

Here is a Summary of What One Can Anticipate from Reputable Companies:


1.   A Written Blast Plan:

Pre-Blast Prep: Entails pre-blast preparation or survey, both interior and exterior. Then, there is the creation of a blast design usually by a rock blasting superintendent and a safety specialist. Seismic survey professionals can also be involved here to help with identifying structural conditions potentially even utilizing digital imagery.  Foundation walls, drywall partitions, flooring, sidewalks as well as building materials and water supply are all surveyed.  
Plan Purpose: Provides a project specific information concerning blasting procedures, safety and measures for the best management practices including seismographic implementation.

    Sample Blast Plan Template with Typical Topics where Appropriate:

    Pre- and Post-Blast Surveys and Notifications
    Typical Blast Design
    Blast Monitoring
    Blast Reports
    Sequence of Blasting
    Blasting Procedures
    Blast Vibration
    Blast Area Security and Warning Signals
    Delivery and Storage of Explosives
    Licenses and Permits
    Blaster Qualifications
    Blasting Personnel / Blaster Licenses
    Sample Loaded Hole Diagrams
    Sample Blast Hole
    Vibration Limits

      2.  A Written Safety Plan often included in the Blast Plan

      3.  A Copy of the Blasting Contractor’s Insurance Policy

      You may have to ask for this, but you are entitled to it.

      4.   A Pre-blast Video Survey (preferably 3rd party)

      Every source, fairly emphatically, alluded to the fact that the neighboring homeowners should request/be offered some type of pre-blast survey. A video pre-blast survey provides a baseline from which to judge post-blast damage.  It protects both the homeowner and the blasting contractor.  “Third party” alludes to a videographer that is not associated with either the homeowner or the blasting contractor. The video firm will secure the video from view unless needed post-blasting. 

      Sources indicated that properties within just less than a football field length from the blast site were eligible to some type of pre-blast survey.  It should be noted that there were various answers about the distance from the blast, but the “football field” correlation seems to cover most answers.

        5.   A Pre-Blast Meeting that goes over all of the above

        --B. Brough

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