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