Tuesday, September 10, 2013

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Leave Your Grenades at Home


Picture of grenades.
All of the Grenades Pictured Were Discovered This Year (2013)
After reading the title of this post, your first thought probably was, “That’s obvious.” Not always so. Year to date, our officers have discovered:
  • 43 grenades in carry-on baggage.
  • 40 grenades in checked baggage
The majority of these grenades were inert, replica, or novelty items, but a few were live smoke, flare, riot, and flash bang grenades, which can pose major safety issues to aircraft and also violate FAA hazmat regulations.

Some have asked us why inert grenades are dangerous since they are dormant. The answer is that they are not dangerous. The issue with inert grenades is that they look like live grenades during screening. When a potential explosive is detected, we must follow protocols that can cause screening areas and even terminals to be closed and evacuated. When checkpoints are closed, flights are delayed and sometimes missed causing the airline and travelers frustration. Another reason all inert grenade related items are prohibited is the panic that could ensue if a passenger were to reveal a grenade while in the cabin of an aircraft.

So remember, real or not, if it looks like a grenade or any other type of explosive device, it cannot be packed in your carry-on or checked baggage. Grenade shaped belt buckles, lighters, soap, candles, MP3 players, paperweights, inert training grenades, and other items can all look like the real item on the x-ray monitor. Please leave these items at home, or find another way of getting them to your destination. 

Did you Know: Our officers at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) discovered a live 40mm high explosive grenade in a carry-on bag in 2012?

See you next week with more travel tips! 

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram! 

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When a potential explosive is detected, we must follow protocols that can cause screening areas and even terminals to be closed and evacuated."

Funny, because when a bottle of water or tube of toothpaste are found -- you know, items that could be potentially lethal liquid explosives, we are told -- they are tossed into the nearest trash bin.

What a charade you're running there.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with a lot of the TSA policies, but packing a replica grenade is a dumb thing to do. That is going to cause problems. However, I am angered when I hear that passengers are harassed for having items that are no threat to the plane. There have been reports of kid's plastic swords and hammers being confiscated. They even tried to confiscate a lightsaber cane from the actor who played Chewbacca. The guy required a wheelchair to get through the airport, so I doubt he was going to use a fictional weapon to take over the plane, not that he would be able to access the cockpit anyway.

Anonymous said...

Take your brain and leave your grenades

Anonymous said...

Anonymous--you really need to watch the National Geographic special on the attempted liquid bombing plot and then maybe you'd understand the procedures that are in place. But then again, maybe not given the incessant whining.

Anonymous said...

The "liquid bombing plot" was purely aspirational, scientifically impossible, and stopped by police and intelligence work, not airport mall cops. Meanwhile every airport checkpoint has a garbage can full of liquids too dangerous to go on planes sitting right there in the open. TSA would be hilarious if it wasn't so pathetic and dangerous.

Anonymous said...

As someone has pointed out before, it would be instructive to know if these (or any of them) were planted to test the gate and baggage screeners.............

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "As someone has pointed out before, it would be instructive to know if these (or any of them) were planted to test the gate and baggage screeners............."

None of the items included in our weekly reports or in this post were test items from TSA.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

There is no way to ignite any of the liquids in the trash. If your bottle of shampoo had an ignition source attached to it, I bet the TSA would treat it very differently.

Anonymous said...

Inert and replica "weapons" are not a threat to aviation safety. Sure, check them out and encourage people to put them in checked luggage, but STOP toting out non-threats as "good catches," STOP "forgetting" to include accurate descriptions (INERT, REPLICA, TOY) in posts and Tweets, and for goodness sake knock off this ridiculous police blotter.

Anonymous said...

"You really need to watch the National Geographic special on the attempted liquid bombing plot and then maybe you'd understand the procedures that are in place. But then again, maybe not given the incessant whining."

Does that special happen to talk about how all of the confiscated "dangerous liquids" are disposed of in a standard garbage bin right there at the checkpoint? Is that one of the procedures you are referring to?

Anonymous said...

Can the next blog entry be about the TSA worker at LAX who called in threats on 9/11/13 and demand evacuation of the terminals? Are you going to change how you screen potential employees to ensure that future hires are more trustworthy?

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-tsa-office-by-lax-evacuated-20130911,0,184002.story

David Gerard said...

For the first time, I have sympathy for the TSA. o_0

Anonymous said...

From the stats you show, Airport Security Screeners catch about a grenade like item a week in carry on and another each week in checked luggage. Why the heck are you wasting a post on that?

FredKlein said...

The majority of these grenades were inert, replica, or novelty items...

So, to be honest, the majority WEREN'T ACTUALLY GRENADES.

TSA- lying to the flying public since 2001.

Anonymous said...

So, if someone brings on a USB stick or something that looks at first glance like a grenade on the XRay, but (since the XRay can see through it) obviously is not one, you must still pretend it is one? That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of and is true security theater. (Of course bringing a real or fake grenade on a plane is pretty daft either way.)

Anonymous said...

I often hear from an awful lot of you that it is inert, so it is not a real grenade! Or it is only a toy; please give it a rest. Numerous times a year people are arrested, shot, or have even been killed by police officers around the country for pointing a toy gun at them. People have gone to prison for armed robbery, but hey not really they only used a toy gun. Even after you know that it is a toy, inert, and can do no harm to anyone, right now. So lets assume that we take your way and TSA lets it go, hey its harmless, and you pull it out on a plane and show several people. You dont think that would create panic, you dont think if there was a FAM or Police officer on the plane that someone is not going to do something. But hey, your right, it is only a toy.

Anonymous said...

While it's not hard to see why keeping realistic-looking replicas of dangerous objects off of planes might be necessary, it's a waste of our and your time for you to trumpet every grenade-shaped flash drive or belt buckle as a victory against the ravenous terrorist horde you'd like us to think is lurking around every corner. These are, in the vast majority of cases, utterly harmless objects carried be people intending no harm to anyone. There may be sound reasons to keep them off of planes, but there is no real danger of any sort posed by them. No wonder no one trusts you.

Melissa Newman said...

Absolutely incredible in my opinion, how can someone be so crazy to bring a grenade to the airport? it is just non sense!
As Anonymous said above me, "Take you brain and leave your grenades"

I totally agree with that sentence.

Wintermute said...

Melissa Newman said...
Absolutely incredible in my opinion, how can someone be so crazy to bring a grenade to the airport? it is just non sense!
As Anonymous said above me, "Take you brain and leave your grenades"


You see, Melissa, there is no IQ requirement for the right to travel. There is also no IQ requirement to become a TSO, so obvious toys are mistaken for the real thing way more often than they should be.

Commonsense flyer said...

Currently, I only fly a few times a year, and only fly when necessary, I don't like the security at the airports anymore than the next guy. However, I know from prior life experiences, people are crazy and thus capable of doing anything. If they must have three separate checks in order to protect my children, family, or friends, then I am in favor of whatever means the government see fit. It is a very crazy world, and many people who should be in an institution, are roaming free. Not to mention of the criminally insane who are put back on the street every day. If I want to fly, and wan't is the key word, I am going to follow the rules and regulations If you don't want to follow the rules, rent a car and drive. We pay taxes because we have to. That is how I look at it. Want to fly, follow the rules or get them changed. Disagree with it, and fly safely or disagree and work towards getting it changed. But please don't make make your stand at the TSA checkpoint on the day I'm flying!

Rebelyankee said...

Currently, I only fly a few times a year, and only fly when necessary, I don't like the security at the airports anymore than the next guy. However, I know from prior life experiences that people are crazy and thus capable of doing anything. If they must have three separate checks in order to protect my children, family, or friends, then I am in favor of it. If I want to fly, and want is the key word, I am going to follow the rules and regulations If you don't want to follow the rules, rent a car and drive. We pay taxes because we have to. That is how I look at it. Want to fly, follow the rules,, and fly safely or disagree and work towards getting it changed. But please don't make make your stand at the TSA checkpoint on the day I'm flying!

Anonymous said...

I have no complaints about airport security. The fact that TSA continues to find guns, ammo, objects that look like grenades or bombs, and even one live grenade, proves that security is working as intended. Zero incidents since 9/11. Let's keep it that way.
-G.