ARCHIVED - What UXO Looks Like

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Information: We are in the process of moving our services and information to Canada.ca

The Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) section has moved. Our current webpage will remain available until the move to Canada.ca is complete. Visit our new location for the latest information. Please be sure to update your bookmarks.

UXO stands for unexploded explosive ordnance - old bombs that did not explode or function as intended.

UXO does not look like it did when it was first made. It will have been in the dirt or water for many years so it will likely look old and corroded. It may be missing parts so it could look like a piece of old pipe, an old car muffler, a pop can, or just small pieces of corroded metal. It is usually not lying neatly on the ground or underwater – it is usually partly exposed or completely buried.

Many people think that UXO are not dangerous because they have been there for many decades. In fact, an UXO can become more unstable and more dangerous over time.

 

UXO can also move or be exposed over time. For example, freeze-thaw cycles, flooding and storms can uncover buried ordnance or move it from place to place. Just because no one has seen UXO in an area for many decades does not mean that it isn’t there now.

A good and simple rule of thumb is to not touch or disturb corroded old metal that you find on the ground or in the water. This is a good idea even if you are not in an area that was used for military purposes.

No matter whether it is new or old, complete or in pieces, all UXO must be considered dangerous. Disturbing it can make it explode, causing death or injury.

If you see something that looks like UXO:

1. Don't touch it!
If disturbed, UXO can explode, causing death or injury.

2. Note the location and leave the area
Remember where you saw the object. Go back the same way you came.

3. Call 9-1-1 or local police
As soon as possible, report what you found by calling 9-1-1 or contacting local police.