A common fear and worst-case scenario for a range is the possibility of fire. Granulated rubber has more pros than cons, and the possibility of fire is an uncommon scenario. (with the proper range maintenance) Shooting ranges take all precautions to keep shooters safe. Rubber is the number one safety product for ranges. However, when using firearms, there is the possibility of fire due to poor range maintenance.
There are documented cases of granulated rubber bullet traps having issues with material catching fire due to contaminants. Rubber media is one of the most common materials used in shooting ranges. However, it is essential to keep contaminants out of the material and use treatment to ensure there are no issues.
Shooting ranges need to take every precaution possible when firearms are involved. Some companies will show you a demonstration where a tracer round is fired into a granulated trap without igniting the rubber. They will tell you that their product is essentially fireproof. However, these are unrealistic advertisements.
The reality is diligence, being proactive with the right materials, is the only safe solution. Shooting ranges and berm traps can collect gunpowder and potentially flammable debris. Depending on whether the range is indoor or outdoor, a trap can collect rocks, straw, sticks, grass, paper, cardboard, etc. Additionally, bullets fired into the trap can also add to this mix.
Granulated rubber traps should always use a fireproofing topical solution and practice proper range maintenance. Solutions can range from a heavy-duty paint called FireFree88 that has a Class A rating. You can get it at https://www.firefree.com and paint it on the material.
Lower cost options include a topical solution material like baking soda or potassium bicarbonate. This type of product can be found at hardware stores or online. The material is very similar to the material used in fire extinguishers.
Much needs to be considered when building a shooting range. With the risk of these contaminants, ranges need to be proactive. A proper range safety protocol needs to be established. Vigilance, along with the inclusion of a topical solution added to the material, will reduce risk.
Cumberland Rubber Supply is here to provide you with the best rubber products on the market. Regarding range safety, we are happy to point you in the right direction or recommend quality range maintenance companies.