Important Things to Remember When Using Boat Flares

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Flares are considered a relatively inexpensive must have on a boat that is venturing offshore. Check here to compare prices and reviews on the top flare gun kits for boats. Many countries require them. Before using these products, it’s important to check their expiration dates and safety requirements. If they’re too old to be effective, discard them immediately. Here are some important things to consider.

Safety considerations

Before using a flare, consider several factors. Marine flares expire after 42 months. They should be replaced before then, but if your flares are still in good condition, you can keep them in a box labeled “expired.” This will give you a back-up in case of emergency. Regardless of the type of boat flare you use, the most important thing is to know how to use it safely.

Proper disposal is essential for any pyrotechnic device. Flares that are over three years old should be disposed of safely and properly. Even if your flare is new, you should not use it if it has expired. You can test an old flare by igniting it once. You can then dispose of it safely. Always remember that it is illegal to discard used flares in the trash, so always check the expiration date of each flare.

Using boat flares is not without its risks. Proper use of flares can greatly increase the chances of a rescue, but it can also increase the risks of an accident. Always make sure that you follow all instructions and do not point the flare at other boats or downwind. Also, remember to always keep the flare well away from your body. Remember to check the expiration date on the flare so you won’t endanger anyone on board.

Proper use of boat flares is essential if you’re planning to operate on the water. It is important to note that flares give off burning dross. Using a flare in this way can ignite fuel. Be sure to hold flares downwind and outboard and keep them tilted away from the operator for safety and maximum visibility. Also, remember to discard expired flares in a waste container at a Delta Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

Types of flares

There are two types of boat flares: floating and handheld. Floating flares are a more reliable way to signal a boat in distress in the daytime. They produce an intense orange smoke and last for at least three minutes. They are best used when the boat is not in the water or in a downwind location. Handheld flares are more visible from the surface and must be held away from the body. Check here to compare prices and reviews on the top flare gun kits for boats.

To make the flares last longer, store them in a waterproof container. The best place is below the deck. Keep them stored properly and replace them before they expire. Flares should be used only during distress, and misuse of this signal is a criminal offence. The flares should be pointed away from people to avoid risking the superstructure of the boat. Using them for any other purpose is dangerous as they are very bright and may damage your boat’s superstructure.

Boat flares are a great way to communicate with authorities in an emergency. They emit a bright orange or red flame, and their smoke is highly visible from the water and air. They are also useful for signaling, but they can only help if someone sees them. Because flares are very dangerous and only last for a short period of time, you should read the manufacturer’s instructions before you use them. Remember to dispose of them safely if they don’t work.

Depending on the type of vessel, some flares have multiple uses. A handheld flare is a homing signal, whereas a floating orange SOLAS smoke flare is used during daytime only. The latter is meant for homing signals, and emits a dense orange cloud for three to four minutes. The range of handheld signal flares on water is between three and five miles, depending on the model. Rescuers have about 15 minutes to reach a boat that has become unresponsive.

Expiration dates

Boat flares have an expiration date. They are incendiary devices and, as such, should not be used after the date has passed. Additionally, an expired flare can be dangerous since the chemicals in it become unstable or inert over time. You do not want to face personal injury lawsuits for a flare that malfunctioned years ago, right? Thankfully, there is a way to keep your flares safe.

There are various methods for disposing of expired flares. In most cases, the flares have a three-year shelf-life and must be replaced before their expiration date. However, this is not always easy to do. There are various collection points around the state, including in Tweed Heads and Eden. These points are free and do not require registration. At these locations, you can drop off your old flare and pick up safety tips for boating. Be sure to check the COVID-19 regulations before discarding any expired flares. Some local police stations may also be able to accept expired flares.

There are many ways to dispose of expired boat flares safely. To prevent injury, you should dispose of them according to the instructions on the containers. For instance, you should dispose of the expired flares in a container where children cannot reach them. Alternatively, you can recycle the flares in the proper way. However, make sure you do not mix expired flares with new ones. One unfortunate case involved a child in Florida who found an expired flare in his back seat and injured six people.

Remember that unused boat flares should be donated to a local Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron. However, if you do not need another one, you can donate the flare to a local fire department or Coast Guard auxiliary. The local fire department can also provide you with advice on where to dispose the expired flares. Never dispose of marine flares in the garbage because you could be charged for causing unnecessary rescues.


In case of an emergency, a vessel must be easily spotted. Boat flares can be used in an emergency. However, the effectiveness of boat flares will depend on the use of them. The most effective boat flares are those with high burn time. However, some boaters prefer to use a flare pistol, which is firing the flare at the same height as a handgun. The flare pistol is more convenient because of its ease of use. Flares can be fired either at night or during the day. Flare pistols are more effective in the dark.

Aside from being effective, marine flares can also be harmful when not used properly. The chemicals that make them go “boom” and shine can affect the quality of the water. Moreover, flares are usually temporary, lasting only a few seconds. Moreover, their lifespan is limited to three years. As a result, it is crucial for boat owners to use flares correctly. For instance, the Coast Guard has specific requirements for boat flares.

A boat’s pyrotechnic signal must be carried in at least three pieces. A set must have three signals for day and night time use. However, search and rescue experts recommend carrying at least six signals. Flares, like fire extinguishers, must be replaced after 42 months. Furthermore, they can’t last for more than three boating seasons. So, it is vital to keep flares in stock and replace them as needed.

A handheld version of SOLAS flares can be used for emergency situations. Its brightness is 15,000 candela and shoots up to twice as high as a conventional flare. Another type of SOLAS flare is waterproof and is eight times brighter than the Coast Guard flare. In addition, it doesn’t produce molten material, which could be dangerous. In addition, it can be used from life rafts. Therefore, SOLAS flares are a good investment for recreational boaters.


There are many alternatives to boat flares, but these products still have their drawbacks. They can be dangerous if used improperly, and the chemicals that make them shine and go “boom” can have negative effects on water quality. Another drawback of these products is that they are only effective for a few seconds, and their lifespan is only about three years. So, what are the best options for boaters? Read on to discover more about boat flares and their alternatives.

One alternative to boat flares is using a personal AIS system. Personal AIS is a useful safety tool for boaters. It can give them the exact location of the casualty and help them navigate back to shore. These systems use an international standard called AIS, and any AIS-equipped vessel will be able to find and identify the beacon. Flares are another sensible precaution, but their costs can quickly mount.

A new, smaller version of a traditional flare is available in the market. The RescueME EDF1 is 40% smaller and enables one-handed operation. It is water-resistant up to 10 metres and provides full visibility for up to six hours. Moreover, its AA-size lithium batteries last eight to ten years. This means that they are much safer than pyrotechnics. A few more benefits of this device include its long lifespan and ease of use.

Besides being safer, modern electronic devices are affordable and widely available. These devices alert the search and rescue services directly, without the need for third-party action. The RYA also provides guidance on the use of electronic distress signals. The RYA recommends using these devices for safety reasons. These devices should be considered when buying a boat. This will save you money and prevent the occurrence of dangerous situations. When you’re out on the water, it’s crucial to have a reliable way to communicate with others.