One day in 1989, an explosives salesman brought home a VHS video and showed it to his son. The video showed a variety of explosives and how they were used safely in industrial situations. The video also showed a few images of what can happen when explosives are used incorrectly, resulting in injury or death. After the video was over, the visibly shaken child said to his father, "Dad, I wish my friends and other kids could see this so they would know not to touch explosives." This sparked an idea in the salesman's head that eventually led to the creation of the "Don't Touch!" program, and later, a non-profit society dedicated to instructing children and adults on explosives safety.
Larry Epp, the creator of the "Don't Touch!" program (1989), and the founder of the "Don't Touch!" Explosives Safety Society (2002) started this program with only a video and a few sample sticks of inert "dummy" explosives. More videos on firecrackers and military devices were slowly added to the growing collection of props he could use in the presentation of the program. Before long, he had a program that he could easily customize to a variety of audiences, communities, or times of year.
Larry Epp has been involved in the explosives industry for 30 years, and has shown the program to more than 7,000 students, fire departments, and the R.C.M.P. In the 14 years since the program's inception, Mr. Epp has received over 2,000 letters from students, teachers, police, and community groups supporting the program, and has been recognized in dozens of newspaper articles across Vancouver Island, B.C.
The "Don't Touch!" Explosives Safety Society was formed in June of 2002 in Courtenay, British Columbia. It is a non-profit society dedicated to instructing children and adults about the dangers of explosives. It is composed of a board of directors, all of whom participate in fund raising and administration for the Society. Only the presenter is paid for their instruction time. Other volunteers not on the Board of Directors participate through various Community works or Promotional activities. See our "Get Involved!" page for information on how you can volunteer or aid the Society in it's goal to save children from serious injury or death.
MAY 1st, 2006:
This May, the website moved to a new server. The menuing system was upgraded, and new content was added. We are in the process of adding on to the content of this site, including pictures, and links to other explosives safety related sites.
OCT 1st, 2004:
This fall, over 1000 students are expected to participate in presentations put on by the "Don't Touch!" Explosives Safety Society. These presentations are expected to reach students from Port Hardy to Victoria, and all places in between.
Last fall, the "Don't Touch!" Explosives Safety Society participated in the "Fire and Safety Expo". We have been invited to return again this year!
The Comox Valley's "Fire and Safety Expo" is a two-day event in which over 700 students participate in workshops and presentations related to fire, explosives, and fireworks. The purpose of the expo is to increase awareness of hazards in our everyday environment.
NEW VIDEO! The "Don't Touch!" Explosives Safety Society has located a new video addressing pipe bombs and related issues, and hopes to have access to this video upon its release in Fall 2004.
An ongoing project with the Nanaimo Community Justice Program is showing positive results. Keep up the good work everybody!
OCT 1st, 2003:
The "Don't Touch!" Explosives Safety Society is once again up and running in 2003. We are planning a large presentation schedule this year, featuring two new instructors to the program. If you or your school would like to participate in the program, please contact us for further information or to register with the Society. Once again, we are also asking for corporate or private support for the society. The number of students reached by our presentations is directly affected by the amount of sponsorship or aid that the society receives, so please! donate time, money or supplies to this worthy cause. See our Get Involved page for more information.