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Old 06-27-2016, 07:59 PM   #21
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One more data point: at least in our area, the USCG Aux is not allowed to train with expired flares any more. They can't even supervise a private flare shoot. The regular CG, however, can help with such an event, if your marina or club wants to hold one.

Also, check the local police station. They may have a place to dispose of unused ammunition. I've heard that works in some places, not in others.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:17 PM   #22
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My old YC held a safety day and I was in charge of informing the CG we'd be firing off flares, so I know the notification was done! Of course ppl saw the flares and called the CG. We had a helicopter respond. I don't know if they didn't have the record of my notification or were just being cautious or what. We didn't get into any trouble over it at least.

I still have a burn scar (very small) in the bend of my elbow from flare drippings. It was definitely a good experience to actually handle flares and know what a crazy spitting mess they are.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:41 PM   #23
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Mine were all out of date along with extinguishers when I got this boat, so bought new ones and since the old ones look OK, keeping them too, in a separate place.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:59 PM   #24
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On twelve gauge flares, examine the brass around the base of the flare. If it is cracked, it is a sign that the flare is going bad. It may not fire or it just might not send the flare as high as it should.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:46 AM   #25
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I tend to keep all my old flares on board. If I'm ever in a MAYDAY situation and need to fire some off, I'll use those along with the new ones.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:10 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineapple Girl View Post
My old YC held a safety day and I was in charge of informing the CG we'd be firing off flares, so I know the notification was done! Of course ppl saw the flares and called the CG. We had a helicopter respond. I don't know if they didn't have the record of my notification or were just being cautious or what. We didn't get into any trouble over it at least.

I still have a burn scar (very small) in the bend of my elbow from flare drippings. It was definitely a good experience to actually handle flares and know what a crazy spitting mess they are.
The helo responding could have just been luck in the sense of notification. If already airborne and something heard on the radio, the helo could have self diverted.

Also.... may have been which unit was "notified" for the demo, and which units were notified of flare sightings. You would think it is more coordinated, but it isn't until the official process of starting a case is deemed necessary. And even then, a unit may "take a look" just to confirm it is a demo and not a real flare.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:15 AM   #27
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Is there any evidence that old Flares ever become DANGEROUS rather than just fail to work?
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:40 PM   #28
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Luckily this old flare testing was done in the winter and I just tossed it in a snowbank..
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:42 PM   #29
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Is there any evidence that old Flares ever become DANGEROUS rather than just fail to work?
Great question and one reason I like to get rid of the really old stuff.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #30
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Pyrotechnics are always dangerous. Old stuff is dangerous and possibly unpredictable...


I have heard of a few incidents like the one posted above...buy I have shot/lit thousands of old flares in training and getting rid of other peoples.


I luckily have never had anything but mushy, un-lightable handhelds as the only "issue". Out of dozens and dozens of 12 ga....no matter how old (well, up to 10-12 years expired) all fired normally...well, many were into the water and looked and felt normal
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:32 PM   #31
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Twenty-gauge buckshot loads purchased in early 1970s functioned well two decades later. But then "fireworks" could be something else.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:45 PM   #32
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When we were making the SOS Light video, my wife went out in the bay at night and shot 4 aerial flares while I was on shore with the camera. The last one went up like normal but did not light up at all. It was a dud. She came back to the dock saying "I'm glad our lives weren't depending on that last flare..."
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:14 AM   #33
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I'd keep them as backups. Having once needed flares.... All the unexpired flares worked. Only one of the brand new flares worked. I *always* keep them on board, but only the most recent expired set. The really old ones go to my logging buddy who uses them to set brush fires.
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