Lesson Nine: Blast Mitigation Design for Facilities

Lesson Nine provides an overview of how large-scale explosions affect building structures and surveys different design and construction measures that can aid in mitigating blast effects.

The objective of this lesson is to provide security planners with enough information to assess their potential vulnerability and identify possible improvements for the design of protected facilities.

Topics include:

Blast Assessment • Preliminary Blast Assessment • Detailed Engineering Assessment • Blast Dynamics • Characteristics of Explosions • Collision Dynamics • Interactions with Structural Elements • Blast Mitigation • Standoff Distance • Surrounding Environment • Debris Hazards • Terrain Contour • Basic Structural Shape • Complex Shapes • Structural Support • Redundant Load Distribution • Facade Construction • Facade Walls • GSA Window Criteria • Fenestration • Evacuation and Emergency Access • Unique Evacuation Requirements • Special Complications • Stairwells and Elevators • Staging Locations/Refuge Areas • Building Subsystems • Utilization • Protective Asset Positioning • Blast Suppression Systems • Projected Charge Attacks • Defense Against Direct Fire Projected Charges • Defense Against Indirect Fire Weapons

Lesson Nine requires approximately 1 hour to complete.

Learning Objectives

Lesson Nine will provide the student with an understanding of the following topics:

• Basic approaches and techniques for surveying potential blast damage to facilities.
• Dynamics of air blasts and their effects on building structures.
• Role of standoff distance.
• Basic considerations for protective building design.
• Types of blast-resistant window systems.
• Employment of blast suppression technologies.
• Characteristics of projected charge attacks against facilities.
• Methods for reducing facility vulnerability to projected charge attacks.


Students completing Lesson Nine should be capable of the following tasks:

1. Conduct a basic survey of potential damage to a facility resulting from a terrorist bomb attack.

2. Identify potential hazards and design characteristics that can increase damage or casualty potential resulting from a terrorist bomb attack.

3. Identify potential measures for mitigating damage or casualty potential resulting from a terrorist bomb or projected charge attack.

Exercises and Quizzes

Students completing Lesson Nine should immediately take the interactive review quiz to test their understanding and retention of the lesson’s content. If the student correctly answers fewer than eight out of ten questions, he/she should repeat the lesson before continuing with the program.

Questions 41-45 of the comprehensive test are directly extracted from Lesson Nine.


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Lesson Ten

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Lesson Ten

The lesson description on this page is extracted from the Bomb Countermeasures for Security Professionals CD-ROM, v2.0.