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Old 24 May 2010, 16:57   #1
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Disposal of flares

Was looking up how to get rid of my out of date flares (I already have a retired spare set and am building up a bit of collection.)

Found this latest info from the MCA.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga07-...rotechnics.htm

Nice 200 mile round trip to Milford Haven for me!! What a joke!

Surely this is just going to encourage people to either stock pile old flares or just set them off.

Mike
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Old 24 May 2010, 17:18   #2
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I intend to set any TEP's off on Nov 5th. I mean, with the size of fireworks and scale of the displays who is going to be able to tell
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Old 24 May 2010, 17:18   #3
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I would love to set one off. Mine are out of date also. i have thought of taking a walk at dusk and letting one of the red and an orange smoke off where few would know what it meant (out in the country). I have never held a burning flare! The other option is to go to the Champions League and let them off in the crowd
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Old 24 May 2010, 17:29   #4
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i have thought of taking a walk at dusk and letting one of the red and an orange smoke off where few would know what it meant (out in the country
yew nobbur eyvun de wurrzells noe dat der is no smowke wythowt fyre n yew wyl get a frie cowlyonik frum de lokul fyre deepartmint
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Old 24 May 2010, 19:20   #5
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Your meant to take them to Milford Haven but i know of a few people who plead ignorant and take them to the local skip (in Newport, Gwent). Say you have just found them and are not sure what to do with them. It maybe worth a try before setting out on your long trip.
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Old 25 May 2010, 02:38   #6
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If there not years out of date and you have room I would leave them on the boat, obviously make sure you have in date flares as well but you never know if they could come in handy....
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Old 25 May 2010, 02:56   #7
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I intend to set any TEP's off on Nov 5th. I mean, with the size of fireworks and scale of the displays who is going to be able to tell
That's exactly what I'm going to do. Useful training - as I've never had to set a flare off before.
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Old 25 May 2010, 03:11   #8
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BruceB I intend to set any TEP's off on Nov 5th. I mean, with the size of fireworks and scale of the displays who is going to be able to tell
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That's exactly what I'm going to do. Useful training - as I've never had to set a flare off before.
Be very careful with parachute flares. They will still be burning when they hit the ground - or car, or thatched roof . They are recognisable even if fired during a firework display. Still, it might be possible to disappear innocently into the crowd.
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Old 25 May 2010, 03:26   #9
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There was a big distress flare discussion a while back, and a separate one about the law regarding setting them off.

You're unlikely to have a problem firing hand held flares and smokes if you do it sensibly. As alystra says though, the parachute flares have much more potential for trouble.
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Old 25 May 2010, 04:36   #10
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It's a shame about the Coastguard reducing the amount of station that can accept Time Expired Pyrotechnics. However we are talking about potentially very dangerous explosives. The Coastguard have spent millions ensuring that the officers who are recieving damaged and out of date pyro are fully trained and then stored in a safe place until they can be collected by Ramora or the EOD.

Ideally before your flares are out of date you should return them to the chandlers they were purchased. They should have they're own network to dispose of them.

The disposal of TEPs is such a big buisness that the Coastguard just cant afford to have a suitable site on everyones doorstep.
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Old 25 May 2010, 05:20   #11
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Nice 200 mile round trip to Milford Haven for me!!
Given some of the distances involved, might make sense for people taking flairs to a centre to check with others in their area on this site and get a batch together. Not sure what the laws are on transporting these by car, especially if you were transporting quite a few.
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Old 25 May 2010, 06:56   #12
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If they're not years out of date and you have room I would leave them on the boat, obviously make sure you have in date flares as well but you never know if they could come in handy....
I plan to keep my set that have just expired but still have a set that expired 3 years ago and another that expired 6 years ago. So really want to get rid of these.


I did a bit of ringing round today:

Environment Agency said Local Council would take them (or they could arrange a private contractor at my cost)

Local Council said Chandlers would take them

Chandlers said they had to be taken to MRCC Milford Haven.

Spoke to MRCC and the good news is they are pretty accomodating as they are willing to accept them 24hrs / 7 days just give them a couple of days notice and a list of what you are taking.

I'm going to plan a weekend down there the end of August so will sort them out then.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 25 May 2010, 09:00   #13
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in cannock will take them in for u
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Old 25 May 2010, 10:34   #14
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Have a word with your local firework place.
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Old 25 May 2010, 15:50   #15
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just remember if you do set off para flares near houses ,watch out for overhead telphone wires and tree branches that can the rocket can hit and richochet off ,
and i dont think you cannot fire rocket flares within 5 miles of an airport .
also its not just thatched roofs at risk where i live they are mostly stone, its if the still burning flare rolls into plastic roof guttering ,
also now and again the para doest always open right and i have seen a few where the para sets on fire, a second later then the whole lot drops to the ground like a scud missile which can then burn up to a minuite ,
with the orange smokes especially the smoke float ones they can make a hell of an orange mess of someones lawn ,made even worse if its damp or foggy as the smoke clings to things .
i always carry my old set of flares with me in a seperate container to the newer in date ones ,i have had miss fires with new indate flares ,hate to have that happen in an emergency with only one set .
and i have fired flares some up to 20 years old and they have still burned and worked ok .even though they may have burned more pink than red .
i will agree with what Bruce b said about the size of some of these now availeble fireworks in comparison to even para flares .
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Old 26 May 2010, 14:21   #16
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And remember that SOLAS Ch V (part of (Merchant Shipping legislation) tells us that it is an offence to use distress signals except in an emergency.

Of course it's a pain unless you live near one of the (too few) collection centres, but there are plenty of practical and legal reasons not to fire them off
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Old 26 May 2010, 14:35   #17
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As I said previously: If you set off a flare somewhere sensible, inland, where it is clearly not indicating distress, then it is demonstrably not a distress signal. Therefore it is not illegal.

Following your logic I would be committing an offence if I stood in my garden slowly and repeatedly raising and lowering my outstretched arms.

I'm not condoning irresponsible use, and I understand why it's easier for the likes of the MCA to have people believe that it is simply illegal to fire red flares. That doesn't make it true though.
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Old 26 May 2010, 15:12   #18
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As I said previously: If you set off a flare somewhere sensible, inland, where it is clearly not indicating distress, then it is demonstrably not a distress signal. Therefore it is not illegal.

Following your logic I would be committing an offence if I stood in my garden slowly and repeatedly raising and lowering my outstretched arms.

I'm not condoning irresponsible use, and I understand why it's easier for the likes of the MCA to have people believe that it is simply illegal to fire red flares. That doesn't make it true though.
John I like your responses as they make sense. It is interesting that seldom are training schools allowed to demonstrate flare/smoke use anymore and therefore not many people will have had an opportunity to see how they work in real life and also how hot they get. I have done what you describe and the light produced can be blinding as well as heat burning.

During an inspection one MCA inspector was surprised I had a pair of welders light gloves in the flare box and even asked why and stated I was the first boat he had seen with this safety option. I agree that to try these in control circumstances safely when not in distress would help anyone should the horrible day arrive to use one in anger.
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Old 26 May 2010, 16:54   #19
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I tried not post in this but:

Last November, I was doing holding an organised Flare Demo, when an orange smoke exploded in my hands, burnt my protective gloves, melted one of my clothing layers and bruised my leg.

This Flare was in date, and was always deemed the safest type of flare being orange smoke. I filled in accident report and flare demos have been suspended.

This flare was 2 years in date...I would not like to set off out of date flares, how do you handle a misfire? what do you do if you get a misfire?

Do you really want to carry expired explosives in your rib? You can submerge a flare in water and it will not go out!

Side note:

Carry a PLB with GPS, carry a Handheld VHF more chance being rescued than firing a flare...I carry PLB, VHF H/H, Buoyant Orange Smoke, plus two device's I import and sell, I know the commercial coded boat must carry full set of flares.

The Coastguard are doing a full evaluation on alternative means of signal for help hopefully this will be released later this year. Project number 621.

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Old 26 May 2010, 18:05   #20
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There is only one place in the country that can accept TEPs for actual disposal hence why its so difficult to get rid of them.

The Coastguard network is only for leisure users and commercial organisations should pay to get rid of them.

There are other sites that accept them and many local authorities will take them away working on the principle that it safer for them to store them rather than you be tempted to set them off. (Normally your LA is legally obliged to take your waste away but for various legal reason a explosive can never be classed as a waste material so your LA is off the hook!)

I'd suggest talking to your local authority first and then make the journey to your CG MRCC!

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