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Answer by labsupport on question Storage of starter caps

Submitted by sat on 22 July 2020

Firstly, you should see if your school, or school jurisdiction, has any established policies and procedures, and comply with these. Starter guns and caps may be noted with sporting equipment as they are generally used for athletics and swimming events. They are also sometimes used for sound experiments in science. 

Caps for starter pistols are classified as explosives Dangerous Goods class 1.41 and are sensitive to ignition from friction, abrasion, static electricity and impact. They should not be carried in pockets or hands as burn Injuries have occurred from accidental ignition2

Storage of starter caps

Starter caps should be stored3, 4:

Starter Pistols

If your starter pistol resembles a firearm, your school may not allow you to have one of this style. If your school does allow this type of starter pistol you may need to obtain a Firearms Permit from your state/territory regulator.

Safe procedures:

These must be in place to use a starter pistol.3, 4

Schools may want to consider alternative starting devices such as whistles, horns or electronic starting pistols.


1 ‘Australian Code for the Transport of Explosives by Road and Rail - 3rd edition’, Safe Work Australia Website, (1 January 2009)

2 ‘Starter gun caps ignite in pocket’, 2013. Queensland Government Department of Natural Resources and Mines,

3 Queensland Department of Education. 2018. Starting pistols and caps, Queensland Department of Education website,

4‘Workplace Health and Safety Hazard Alert: Starting Gun Caps’ April 2014,

FIREARMS REGISTRY Starting Pistol Permit, Nov 2019. see (This document contains storage information)

‘Starting Pistol’, NSW Police Force website, This has the link to FACT Sheet - Starting Pistol Permit (PDF)