Warnings are circulating the Internet that warn readers about homemade “Drano bombs” supposedly being put together by children that involves filling a plastic water bottle with Drano, tin foil and water.
According to the warning, this concoction creates in effect a bomb, and kids are leaving them in lawns where – upon being disturbed by an unaware house owner – the plastic bottle is likely to explode, resulting in injury.
What’s True – Such bombs are real and can cause serious injury, and have done so in the past. The physical description of the device is accurate, though other variants exist.
What’s False – What’s misleading about this warning is the implication that this is a new threat, or that there has been a recent surge in attacks involving such devices. Kids (and adults) have been creating these types of bombs (or similar devices) for decades and there has been no recent surge in reported cases.
Kids are putting Drano, tin foil, and a little water in plastic drink bottles
and capping it up – leaving it on lawns, in mail boxes, in gardens, on
driveways etc. just waiting for you to pick it up intending to put it in the
rubbish, but you`ll never make it!!!
If the bottle is picked up, and the bottle is shaken even just a little – in
about 30 seconds or less it builds up enough gas which then explodes with
enough force to remove some your extremities. The liquid that comes out is
boiling hot as well.
Don`t pick up any plastic bottles that may be lying in your yards or in the
Pay attention to this. A plastic bottle with a cap. A little Drano. A little
water. A small piece of foil.
Disturb it by moving it; and BOOM!!
No fingers left and other serious effects to your face, eyes, etc.
Please ensure that everyone that may not have email access are also informed
The warning, in this case, is based on truth. When the Drano contacts the foil it creates a strong chemical reaction that produces a gas that creates mounting pressure within the bottle until the bottle explodes.
The explosion, in many cases, can be strong enough to cause injury to anyone unfortunate enough to be close to the bottle at the time of explosion. Such injuries can include 2nd or 3rd degree burns since the chemical in the bottle becomes a boiling liquid. In fact permanent blindness could come as a result of these bombs.
In the past these bombs have caused injuries such as serious cuts and broken fingers. There have also been plenty of reports of the bomb-makers themselves suffering injuries after the bottle bombs detonate unexpectedly.
Whilst there is no specific surge across any country regarding this issue, in the past local police forces have released detailed information warning residents to watch out for suspicious bottles and to contact the police if they do come across them.
Whilst the message describes using Drano as the primary ingredient, Drano is merely a specific brand, and the reality is that many other household items can be used to create these bombs such as baking soda, dry ice and even acid. The bombs are also referred to under a variety of names such as “works bombs”, “acid bombs”, “soda bombs” or “MacGyver Bombs”.
But do not let this message fool you into thinking this is a new crime being committed. Creating bottle bombs from household objects has been a matter of concern for decades now. You can see an example of a bomb going off in this video. There are plenty of other examples.
Sadly the Internet has led to any teenager being able to instantly obtain detailed instructions on how to construct any number of these household bombs.
So some advice to anyone thinking of creating their own bottle bomb – the effects are both potentially deadly and very unpredictable. When you create these bombs you are risking your own life. And leaving them in the yards of innocent people could potentially kill someone, making you directly responsible for murder. Hardly a risk worth taking for a prank.
So to summarize, in this case the information in the warning is certainly worth heeding and suspicious bottles you find should certainly be dealt with caution.