Common Metals That Set Off Security Systems

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Going through metal detectors can be an unnerving experience for some. Even though we recognize it as being necessary, the anxiety remains. Whether you are getting ready to take a flight, or attending a concert, it is important to be prepared.


Everybody knows that dangerous items, such as guns, knives, and other weapons will set off any metal detector, but there are some things you might be surprised to realize will cause you problems. Be prepared beforehand to deal with the situation. Before setting yourself up for additional security scans, empty your pockets of these items that can cause problems with metal detectors.




After chewing a stick of gum, it is common to simply place the wrapper in our pockets and forget about it for a time. Although this usually doesn’t cause an issue, you may want to think twice about it when going through security. Aluminum foil wrappers can cause more problems than you realize.


Fortunately, the problem has become so great that many manufacturers have changed their packaging material, using paper wrappers instead of foil. Even so, it is better to be safe than sorry. Empty your pockets of even the smallest pieces of trash before going through the metal detector. This will save you time in the long run.




If you know you will be going through metal detectors later in the day, don’t wear certain items of clothing. For women, the most important thing to watch out for is an underwire bra. Although technology has evolved, and it is less likely that this will set off security, it is better to be safe than sorry.


Besides just necessary clothing, there are a few accessories that have been known to set off metal detectors. Headbands, barrettes, and other hair accessories are sometimes made from metal. Even though the only metal is usually in the frame of the items, it can still cause a metal detector to sound. Avoid this and place your hair accessories on the x-ray belt if available.




In the days of credit and debit cards, not many people carry around large sums of cash. For those who stopped to pick up a penny for luck on your way, don’t ruin your good fortune by forgetting to take it out before passing through security. Coins set off metal detectors quite frequently.


There are some small metals that will pass through most metal detectors without setting them off, such as the button on your pants. Coins are not one of those metals. Make sure to take care of them, placing all currency on a tray to pass through the x-ray belt rather than dealing with the metal detector over and over again.


Before going through any type of security, be aware of the common everyday items that can set off the metal detector that you may not have thought about. Rather than slowing up the process, just empty your pockets. If there is anything you can think of that might have a slight chance of setting off the metal detector, take it off your person beforehand.


By +Cassie Costner

Cassie writes for Montgomery Scrap on different metals and how they are used. She has also written on the products that make up a metal detector, where to get the most for your scrap, and the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals.