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Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:08 am
by Whitey1
I have 2 Red Handle Flare Mk. 8 that have an expiry date of 05/11. How and/or where can you safely dispose of these, assuming they would not be reliable to use now?

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:46 am
by Chris Bolton
I contacted Holyhead Coastguard, who said they could dispose of them if I brought them to their HQ, subject to phoning a few days before to check whether the right people would be on duty to deal with them. Which is what I did. Then I bought a Greatland green rescue laser flare; I won't be buying any more pyrotechnics.

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:27 pm
by jet
I also ended up phoning in advance and taking mine to Milford Haven coastguard.

I tried many different approaches to avoid this, but struggled. Local waste disposal, fire service even professional pyrotechnic disposal etc etc

In the end it took a small diversion one morning whist down in Pembrokeshire and no charge.

Your location says Pyrenees, so either option could be more demanding :-)

I posted about this previously
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=124630&p=792267#p792267

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:56 pm
by OMarti
Hello,

The French sailing school Les Glénans made an extensive test of old flares, some of them being 30 years old. It was when the authority, under pressure of flare makers, decided to limit the validity to 2 years, instead of 3 years at this time. The conclusion was that even 30 years old flares are OK if the external appearance is OK. If the flare has clearly suffer from humidity, it will probably fails. No flare appeared to be dangerous to fire. They simply fails.

This test convinced French authorities to set the validity to 4 years, which is still the case today. (and in UK ? Is it an European norm today ?). They also convinced the authorities to not unload outdated flares from boats during security checks.

At Les Glenans, they keep on each boat 1 set of valid flares (mandatory) and a supplemental outdated one for more security. At my kayak club, we use outdated flares for exercise (far from coast to avoid false alert of the coast guards). I won't keep to set of flares on my kayak, this is too much loading. But you can find an opportunity to exercise, give them to a sailing club, etc ...

Olivier

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:05 pm
by Chris Bolton
Thanks, OMarti. I believe it's illegal to practice with flares in the UK even inland or when the Coastguard have been told; they may only be fired in an emergency.

jet, your post prompts me to mention a user on this Forum who asked the authorities for advice (the Police, I think) on flare disposal, and they send a full army Bomb Disposal Unit to his house.

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:13 pm
by OMarti
Well, I cannot imagine that there is no possibility to exercise with any kind of security related material. It is mandatory to practice. But it might imply some booooooring administrative procedures :-((

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:42 pm
by Whitey1
Thanks guys. No longer in the Pyrenees, must remember to change location. I've contacted the local coastguard so just waiting to hear back from them now. Much appreciated advice.

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:48 pm
by robhorton
If they're handheld (rather than parachute) flares I would be inclined to set them off in the garden (wearing gloves / safety glasses, not near the sea and with a bucket on hand to put them in if they don't go off). It's possibly illegal anyway but I think with handheld ones you are unlikely to cause a false alarm / set fire to something. I wouldn't set parachute flares off like that though.

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:40 am
by Ken_T
Hi,
Please do not set off parachute flares inland, they reach the ground still burning & have caused fires.
Ken

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:02 am
by jmmoxon

Re: Flare disposal.

Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:40 am
by OMarti
Ken_T wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:40 am
Hi,
Please do not set off parachute flares inland, they reach the ground still burning & have caused fires.
Ken
Yes, I was thinking of handheld flares only. Ken, thanks for this important correction.

Olivier