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NIJ Metal Detector Standards

Request for Quote for Hand Held Metal Detectors

Request for Quote for Walk-Through Metal Detectors

Walk-Through Metal Detectors for Use in Concealed Weapon and Contraband Detection
NIJ Standard-0601.02
Publication Date: January 2003

Hand-Held Metal Detectors for Use in Concealed Weapon and Contraband Detection
NIJ Standard-0602.02
Publication Date: November 2003

Current Activities

NIJ is in the process of revising performance standards for walk-through metal detectors (WTMDs) and hand-held metal detectors (HHMDs). Both types of metal detectors are used by public safety personnel to detect metallic weapons and contraband for the purpose of controlling the type of objects allowed into restricted areas and finding objects hidden within these areas.

The revisions were implemented based on requests from NIJ’s Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Advisory Council (LECTAC), technology advancements and changes to referenced standards and test methods. A Special Technical Committee (STC) of practitioners, researchers and experts in testing and conformity assessment is currently working on the revisions, and a series of documents will be produced by the STC.

Hand-held Metal Detector Documents

1. Hand-held Metal Detector Standard for Public Safety NIJ Standard 0602.03

This document is a voluntary equipment standard using a performance-based approach to clearly specify a minimum level of performance for each characteristic that has been determined to be critical to the equipment’s intended use. NIJ Standard-0602.03 provides for four classifications based on detection capability by size and electromagnetic characteristic of objects. Those classifications are:

  • MD Class 1: Objects nominally the size of a handgun.
  • MD Class 2: Objects nominally the size of a paring knife.
  • MD Class 3: Objects representing items such as short sections of hacksaw blades, hand-held paint scraper blades, screwdriver bits and handcuff keys.
  • MD Class 4: Objects representing items such as paper clips, metal pen clips, metal pen refills, disposable razor blades and hypodermic needles.
Draft Hand-Held Metal Detector Standard for Public Safety
NIJ Standard-0602.03
Publication Date: January 2011

2. Public Safety Hand-held Metal Detector Certification Program Requirements NIJ CR-0602.03

This document specifies requirements for independent third-party certification of HHMDs. HHMDs must meet all of the applicable requirements in order to be certified to NIJ Standard-0602.03. HHMDs will be certified as a specific model. This document is under development.

3. Public Safety Hand-held Metal Detector Selection and Application Guide NIJ SAG-0602.03

This document provides guidance concerning the procurement, selection, care, maintenance, training and administrative considerations related to HHMDs. The primary audience for this guide includes operators/screeners, supervisors, managers and purchasers in the law enforcement, corrections, public safety, courts security and school safety communities. This document is under development.

Walk-through Metal Detector Documents

1. Walk-through Metal Detector Standard for Public Safety NIJ Standard 0601.03

This document is a voluntary equipment standard using a performance-based approach to clearly specify a minimum level of performance for each characteristic that has been determined to be critical to the equipment’s intended use. NIJ Standard-0601.03 provides for three classifications based on detection capability by size and electromagnetic characteristic of objects. Those classifications are:

  • MD Class 1: Objects nominally the size of a handgun.
  • MD Class 2: Objects nominally the size of a paring knife.
  • MD Class 3: Objects representing items such as short sections of hacksaw blades, hand-held paint scraper blades, screwdriver bits and handcuff keys.

The draft may be downloaded below.

Draft Walk-Through Metal Detector Standard for Public Safety
NIJ Standard-0601.03
Publication Date: January 2011

2. Public Safety Walk-through Metal Detector Certification Program Requirements NIJ CR-0601.03

This document specifies requirements for independent third-party certification of WTMDs. WTMDs must meet all of the applicable requirements in order to be certified to NIJ Standard-0601.03. WTMDs will be certified as a specific model. This document is under development.

3. Public Safety Walk-through Metal Detector Selection and Application Guide NIJ SAG-0601.03

This document provides guidance concerning the procurement, selection, care, maintenance, training and administrative considerations related to WTMDs. The primary audience for this guide includes operators/screeners, supervisors, managers and purchasers in the law enforcement, corrections, public safety, courts security and school safety communities. This document is under development.

Test Objects Report

Metal Detector Test Objects Report NIJ Report 100-07

This document describes the test objects to be used in the test methods specified in both NIJ metal detector standards. The purpose of the test objects is to provide exemplars for performance measurements and a basis for measurement comparison. This allows all metal detectors to be tested for compliance and objectively compared. The test objects are replicas of actual threat items. Replicas are used because they are safer, in some cases, than the threat item and moreover, because the dimensional tolerance and material properties of the replicas can be specified. Furthermore, to enhance safety and allow for orientation-dependent performance measurements, the replicas are encased in plastic. It is not feasible for all threat items to have a replica that is used as a test object because the cost of testing with all possible test objects would be prohibitive. Consequently, the group of threat items for each object size class was examined and those objects that would give the smallest signal and be more difficult to detect were selected.

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