Deminer  What They Do

Just the Facts

Insider Info

dotA deminer helps with the removal of live explosives from minefields, or in some cases from the sea or from open areas. Deminers also educate people on the dangers of mines and sometimes teach others to detect and deactivate mines.

dotDeminers work both in the field and in offices. Most fieldwork is done in other nations, usually developing countries that cannot afford demining programs of their own. Office work is done both in the deminer's home country and in host nations.

A host nation is a country that works with deminers to have mines deactivated and removed. Deminers usually work through the embassy of the host nation.

dotDemining can be a dangerous profession. When entering a minefield that has not been properly mapped, the risk of explosion can be high.

dotMines can be buried up to three feet below the surface. Some contain little or no metal, so metal detectors are not always effective in finding them. In many cases, specially trained dogs are used to detect the mines. In other cases, electronic devices that are very sensitive to metal can be used to find them.

Electronic devices are often used in conjunction with a process known as "prodding." Once a mine has been found, the earth around it is prodded at an angle very gently with a probe until it just touches the side of a mine.

dotWhen a mine has been successfully detected and removed from the ground, it is disarmed to prevent explosion. In some countries, there are recycling programs that recycle disarmed mines into useful products.

At a Glance

Find and remove live explosives

  • Most fieldwork is done in developing nations
  • This is dangerous work -- you have to be careful
  • Most deminers have a background in the military