Indicators and Warnings for Homemade Explosives


The Technical Support Working Group has released the Indicators and Warnings for Homemade Explosives as a quick reference guide for military, first responders, federal, state, and local government personnel. The goal of this guidebook is to provide awareness level information that will allow on-scene personnel to rapidly assess that a situation involves the presence of homemade explosives to alert military EOD team or state or local bomb squad personnel. This guidebook is divided into three sections: Homemade Explosives, Chemical Components, and Manufacturing Equipment that addresses 9 homemade explosives, 20 precursor chemicals, and 6 types of manufacturing equipment.

  • The Homemade Explosives section describes the key identifiers, hazards, commercial uses, chemical components, and equipment used in the manufacture of homemade explosives.
  • The Chemical Components section describes the key identifiers, hazards, commercial uses, commercial sources, and the homemade explosives it can be used to create.
  • The Manufacturing Equipment section summarizes the laboratory and improvised equipment that can be utilized during the manufacturing process.

The HME Guide is an 80 page, 5 X 7 inch, spiral bound guidebook that is For Official Use Only - Law Enforcement Sensitive – All individuals handling the information are required to protect it from unauthorized disclosure. This information should be disseminated on a need-to-know basis. This document is a product of the Technical Support Working Group. It is not for public use, but is intended for use by military, first responders, federal, state, and local personnel. Authorization for use by any others than named above must be requested via e-mail to [email protected] and approved by the Director CTTSO/TSWG.

The Guide is available from the Government Printing Office in packs of 5 copies for $85.00. To order this guidebook, request stock number 008-001-00185-1. First send an e-mail request for quantity desired to [email protected], and include stock number, contact name, organization name, address, and telephone number. Security contractors must also provide similar sponsoring government agency information. Confirmation of the order will be approved via e-mail with an approval number. The documents can then be ordered from GPO, accompanied by a copy of the confirmation e-mail and approval number, as follows:

Orders accompanied by the TSWG approval number may be placed via e-mail, fax, and mail. Online:, E-mail: [email protected]; Phone: Toll free (866) 512-1800, DC Area: (202) 512-1800, Fax: (202) 512-2250 at any time; Mail: send to: Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001. All orders require prepayment, either by check, money order, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover/NOVUS, or GPO Deposit Account.