Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-02-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
Guru
 
City: Full Time Cruising East Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Meridian
Vessel Model: Krogen-42
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 754
Flare gun test and failure

Over the years I've acquired 3 or 4 Olin 12GA flare guns, but never used them. I have one at home and decided to test fire it into a snow bank. This would also allow me to check old cartridges. First one fired perfect, second fired but was a dud as a flare, third fired perfect but then I couldn’t open the breech. On searching the web I found this from BoatUS May 2004. I’ll check the others this spring.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MANUFACTURER’S ADVISORY
From time to time, marine manufacturers identify problems that may not qualify as safety defects but which nevertheless require repair or correction. In such cases, the manufacturer may conduct a voluntary campaign to notify owners and make repairs. The U.S. Coast Guard does not oversee voluntary campaigns.
Orion Safety Products recently discovered that a defective opening mechanism in some 12-gauge plastic flare guns manufactured by Olin (now Orion Safety Products) prior to 2000 may not open wide enough to accept a flare cartridge. Guns with a modification to correct the possible problem are marked with U.S. Coast Guard approval code 160 028//12/1. Boaters with older flare guns should check the operation of the opening mechanism now and at the start of each boating season. If the breech will not open wide enough to accept a cartridge, the gun should be sent back for a replacement.
A spokesman at Orion Safety Products confirmed the problem. Nylon material used to keep the breech closed can deform and jam the opening mechanism. Any Olin plastic flare gun is suspect, as are Orion gun made before 2000, the year the mechanism was reengineered (guns with the modification have the UCSG approval code 160 028//12/1 stamped on the body).
A recall has not been issued, although Orion has agreed to replace any of the defective guns, regardless of age. Send defective guns to: Orion Safety Products, Marine Division, 3157 N. 500 West, Peru, IN 46970; 1-800-851-5260
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
__________________
Advertisement

__________________
-------------------------
Terry
Meridian
KK-42097
meridian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,719
Terry: You picked the right time to find out there was a recall, on land. I checked our FG and it does have the approval code you referenced. It's something that we never would have checked. Thanks. Also, time to update some flares.
__________________

Larry M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
Guru
 
LaBomba's Avatar
 
City: Beaverton, Ontario
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Airswift
Vessel Model: Ontario Yachts Great Lakes 33
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 818
Terry, good catch. Better now than when you need one. I have three as well, all pre 2000. Good time of year to send them off.
__________________
Allan & Ann
Airswift
LaBomba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2013, 06:05 PM   #4
Guru
 
Capn Chuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 899
I'm not sure I would be carrying a 12 year old plastic flare gun to begin with. Chuck
__________________
Blogs
Beach House
Sea Trek
Capn Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 12:22 AM   #5
Art
Guru
 
Art's Avatar
 
City: SF Bay Area
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 34' Tri Cabin
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by meridian View Post
MANUFACTURER’S ADVISORY

Orion Safety Products recently discovered that a defective opening mechanism in some 12-gauge plastic flare guns manufactured by Olin (now Orion Safety Products) prior to 2000 may not open wide enough to accept a flare cartridge. Guns with a modification to correct the possible problem are marked with U.S. Coast Guard approval code 160 028//12/1. Boaters with older flare guns should check the operation of the opening mechanism now and at the start of each boating season. If the breech will not open wide enough to accept a cartridge, the gun should be sent back for a replacement.
A spokesman at Orion Safety Products confirmed the problem. Nylon material used to keep the breech closed can deform and jam the opening mechanism. Any Olin plastic flare gun is suspect, as are Orion gun made before 2000, the year the mechanism was reengineered (guns with the modification have the UCSG approval code 160 028//12/1 stamped on the body).
A recall has not been issued, although Orion has agreed to replace any of the defective guns, regardless of age. Send defective guns to: Orion Safety Products, Marine Division, 3157 N. 500 West, Peru, IN 46970; 1-800-851-5260
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks Terry - I appreciate that and will check my flares and gun Art
Art is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 07:29 AM   #6
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,853
I know it's a tough decision and I don't think much of flares to begin with.....

BUT...as most Survival at Sea guys will instruct...the self launching SOLAS type flares are the ticket. Next best would be 25mm flare guns with a bag full of parachute flares and a few meteors. At leassst they are metal and a little more robust...plus the parachutes are what people really see and interpret as "emergency"...too often the low altitude, dimmer meteors are rarely seen.

Now if you are never more than a couple miles from shore or just cruise by day... then the cheaper 12 ga is fine but so are a pocket pack of self launching ones and I think pretty close in price.

And I have personally experienced the guns jamming like that...both refusing to open wide enough and refusing to open at all after shooting a flare....

Good post...
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #7
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,684
I organized a "Flare Test Day" at our yacht club a couple of years ago with permission from the USCG. We notified all the local fire depts., emergency dispatch center, the local cops and Sheriff's Dept so they could have their marine deputies present if they wanted (none showed up) and we had an ambulance on standby.

The firing period lasted about 2 hours. About 50-60 people showed up to fire off their old, outdated flares so everyone could see how high they went, how bright they were, etc.

All together about 250 flares were fired out over the Columbia River. There were flares that were slightly out dated and some as old as 25 years. The only ones that showed a significant failure rate were the kind where you pull the string down to fire it. Those failed more than 50% of the time. They also were some of the oldest flares fired.

There was a HUGE difference between the 12 gauge flares and the 25mm flares. The 25mm flares went higher, burned longer and were much brighter than the 12 gauge flares.

For most of us present, it was the first time any of us had fired off flares or seen them fired off.

If you're a part of a boating group or yacht club it might be advantageous to hold one of these flare test days. It's PR for your organization and a fun time for all.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,853
The next greatest eyeopener for boaters I've taught "hands on training" to after flares is firefighting ....actually using the extinguisher itself to put out a washtub fireball.

I taught at a few Trawlerfests and the hands on training got some pretty strong reviews...not sure if they still do it.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 09:02 PM   #9
Guru
 
Keith's Avatar
 
Vessel Name: Anastasia III
Vessel Model: Krogen 42
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,716
My company does fire extinguisher training. Working in the petrochemical industry I've had a lot of it over the years with various fires, and a couple of real ones. Really a good idea! As for flares, once I saw the night pix of SOLAS parachute flares, I immediately got a set. Used white ones for practice. Amazing difference. I do keep the 12G flares on board and in date. The parachutes should be useful past their expiration date, but I will eventually replace them as well.
Keith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,165
All good information and a worthwhile reminder.
I give out safety day inspection stickers at our YC. All RCM-SAR inspection items plus some YC generated items. For Flares, I recommend getting your quota of flares in two separate lots of 6, Star shot, and hand held. That way you have flares to attract attention from a long way away, and to direct rescuers to you when closer aboard.
koliver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 07:38 AM   #11
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,512
The 12G or 25's do meet the Coasties rules and are cheap enough to replace often as the rules require

The 37MM is the unit that might get one saved as it usually fires a parachute flair that stays aloft for a lot longer.

Dont worry about age , while demoing the 37"s to ny bride most were just post WWII vintage and 4 out of 5 worked.

Our method is a dozen 37MM and a pack of fresh whatever for the Coasties.

The White 37mm are used to alert a ship to your presence.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2013, 02:39 PM   #12
Guru
 
LaBomba's Avatar
 
City: Beaverton, Ontario
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Airswift
Vessel Model: Ontario Yachts Great Lakes 33
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 818
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Chuck View Post
I'm not sure I would be carrying a 12 year old plastic flare gun to begin with. Chuck
I posed this question to the manufacturer:

Hi, my name is Allan and I have 3 of your 12 gauge flare guns and understand that there is a silent recall on these if they don't open far enough to insert a new flare. This has raised another concern by some individuals that a 12 year old (or more) plastic flare gun should be replaced regardless just due to it's age. These guns have never been fired, have been in sealed containers away from sunlight, heat and extreme cold. There obviously is an expire date on the flares but what about the guns? Look forward to your reply. Thank you in advance.

There response was:

Thank you for your inquiry. We provide a lifetime warranty for our flare guns. As with any safety device it is best practice to test before each season to ensure everything is in working order as plastics can degrade over time.

Read from it what you may!!
__________________
Allan & Ann
Airswift
LaBomba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:27 PM   #13
Guru
 
City: Full Time Cruising East Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Meridian
Vessel Model: Krogen-42
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 754
Just an update: I sent my broken unit in a week ago and received a new one today. They also have a service program where they will test and verify the functionally of your flare gun at no charge.
__________________

__________________
-------------------------
Terry
Meridian
KK-42097
meridian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012