If blasting is occurring near your home, you can expect to feel vibrations and perhaps hear some noise. However, the vibration levels are normally lower and no more potentially damaging to your building than those caused by slamming a door, windstorms and thunderstorms, or children running and jumping around the house. Research has shown that a seismograph inside a home can often record higher vibration levels from resident activity than from blasting operations in the vicinity.
Vibrations from blasting can feel stronger than other similar vibrations that are more common.
- Blast vibrations are sudden and startling which amplify the perceived intensity.
- Humans are generally sensitivity to vibrations, and some are more sensitive than others. Individual perception and responses can vary from person to person, building to building or situation to situation.
- The type of surroundings at the time of the blast also influence individual perception (outside, inside, upper or lower floor of your house).
The unique position, orientation and design of each blast on the construction site can also cause the perception of one blast to be stronger than another.
The USBM RI8507 report noted these anecdotal responses to varied intensities of vibrations:
|Peak Particle Velocity
|Greater than 0.5 mm/s
|Greater than 5.0 mm/s
|Greater than 17.8mm/s
The important point is that people are more sensitive to blasting vibration than their homes. The unfortunate suddenness coupled with sensitivity to concurrent vibrating floors, walls and windows worsens the perception and the blast seems more harmful than it really is. This is why scientific instruments, seismographs, are used to accurately evaluate the relative blast effect and amount of motion generated.