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Old 16 April 2011, 06:54   #1
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How do you dispose of your out of date flares?

With various restrictions imposed by the coastguard, I'm curious to know how most people dispose of their out of date flares, if at all; talking to people recently there are a lot of OOD flares in a lot of garages!!
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Old 16 April 2011, 07:19   #2
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I am quite lucky as I live near one of the designated CG sites. Go on line and fined your nearest one, also some boat jumbles are encorporating a disposal en-site worth a check.
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Old 16 April 2011, 08:45   #3
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Originally Posted by marinesafety View Post
there are a lot of OOD flares in a lot of garages!!
The proper TLA is TEP, time expired pyrotechnics.

Generally flares do not become unstable with age, they become less reliable should you come to fire one.

Some police stations take them, some lifeboat stations take them too, but always call first as it can freak them out if they are not used to it.

IMHO The best way remains making sure your chandler will take old ones when you buy new ones from them. It is the flare manufacturer that ought to take responsibility, if a retailer will not take TEP when you are buying replacements let them know that you will go elsewhere.
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Old 16 April 2011, 09:08   #4
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I did what the previous owner of my old boat did with his time expired flares and gave them away with the old boat when I sold it

As for flares on the new boat ... I have been looking into it recently and the cost of getting flares here is probably going to be prohibitive so the answer is I probably won't have any. All down to stupid, ridiculous HSE regulations for shipping something that every sodding cargo ship on the planet already has on board!!
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Old 16 April 2011, 10:41   #5
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The proper TLA is TEP, time expired pyrotechnics.

Generally flares do not become unstable with age, they become less reliable should you come to fire one.

Some police stations take them, some lifeboat stations take them too, but always call first as it can freak them out if they are not used to it.

IMHO The best way remains making sure your chandler will take old ones when you buy new ones from them. It is the flare manufacturer that ought to take responsibility, if a retailer will not take TEP when you are buying replacements let them know that you will go elsewhere.
Indeed, however the hazardous classification for TEPs increases the second they become out of date (in other words they become more hazardous).

Do people on here generally find that it's quite easy to get rid of them - do you find that most chandleries will take them back?
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Old 16 April 2011, 11:06   #6
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In the Autumn the RNLI visited the RN section at school and did a flare demo for us. We all set off a variety of flares, and it was really illuminating.

Seriously though, setting off a flare is not as easy as you think; obviously you take off the cap at either end point it at the sky and pull the trigger, but wind direction and angles are something that I think need a couple of goes before you know how to do it right. When our flares go out of date I will urge GD to attend an RNLI flare meeting (like the one we did, I think they are done for the public too though) so that he can set off some flares and get a little practice. After all, the more times you do it the more familiar you get with it and therefore the less likely you are to panic when trying to do it in an emergency situation.
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Old 16 April 2011, 11:28   #7
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I did what the previous owner of my old boat did with his time expired flares and gave them away with the old boat when I sold it
ooh, I must be due a boat upgrade.

Quote:
As for flares on the new boat ... I have been looking into it recently and the cost of getting flares here is probably going to be prohibitive so the answer is I probably won't have any. All down to stupid, ridiculous HSE regulations for shipping something that every sodding cargo ship on the planet already has on board!!
Perhaps one of the visiting vessels could be persuaded to leave some behind on the dock? Maybe if you left a crate of beer on the dock you might find the boxes got mixed up?
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Old 16 April 2011, 13:36   #8
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In the Autumn the RNLI visited the RN section at school and did a flare demo for us. We all set off a variety of flares, and it was really illuminating.

Seriously though, setting off a flare is not as easy as you think; obviously you take off the cap at either end point it at the sky and pull the trigger, but wind direction and angles are something that I think need a couple of goes before you know how to do it right. When our flares go out of date I will urge GD to attend an RNLI flare meeting (like the one we did, I think they are done for the public too though) so that he can set off some flares and get a little practice. After all, the more times you do it the more familiar you get with it and therefore the less likely you are to panic when trying to do it in an emergency situation.
I'd be interested to hear what the official line of the RYA and the RNLI is with regards using out of date flares for training/demos (perhaps someone in the know on here can enlighten me). As I've already mentioned, the hazardous classification of a TEP changes when it goes out of date. There was also an incident a few years ago where a chap was doing some sort of RYA course and ended up with very nasty burns I believe to the face after a flare went wrong in his hands. I think it would make an "interesting" case if there was some sort of accident and it turned out the flares being used were out of date.
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Old 16 April 2011, 13:53   #9
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Originally Posted by marinesafety View Post
I'd be interested to hear what the official line of the RYA and the RNLI is with regards using out of date flares for training/demos (perhaps someone in the know on here can enlighten me). As I've already mentioned, the hazardous classification of a TEP changes when it goes out of date. There was also an incident a few years ago where a chap was doing some sort of RYA course and ended up with very nasty burns I believe to the face after a flare went wrong in his hands. I think it would make an "interesting" case if there was some sort of accident and it turned out the flares being used were out of date.
Agreed. We have used TEP flares for practice in the past however I would only do this at an official meeting (RN CCF/RNLI etc) it is surely illegal to set off any form of pyrotechnic without notifying the relevant authorities? (bear in mind this is more important for us being in the mountains)
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Old 16 April 2011, 14:09   #10
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Agreed. We have used TEP flares for practice in the past however I would only do this at an official meeting (RN CCF/RNLI etc) it is surely illegal to set off any form of pyrotechnic without notifying the relevant authorities? (bear in mind this is more important for us being in the mountains)
Sorry, I should have been more specific; I'm curious to know what their stance is regarding the use of TEPs for demos - assuming the demo is properly organised at a training centre etc as opposed to someone just letting them off!
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Old 16 April 2011, 14:17   #11
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Sorry, I should have been more specific; I'm curious to know what their stance is regarding the use of TEPs for demos - assuming the demo is properly organised at a training centre etc as opposed to someone just letting them off!
Yeah yeah I understood that What with the issues of disposal it would surely be the best way tbh? I shall have a quick scout on the net to see if there is an official policy on the matter from the RYA/BMF/RNLI/MCA etc.
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Old 16 April 2011, 16:55   #12
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All Public RNLI Flare Demos by the Sea Safety Team were cancelled, suspended in November/December 2009. Station and Lifeboat Crew do these on on the water demos...

RNLI never used TEF for demos, H & S issues !

http://www.rya.org.uk/infoadvice/reg...Pages/tep.aspx

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAn...fely/DG_185790

Regards

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Old 16 April 2011, 17:59   #13
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Perhaps one of the visiting vessels could be persuaded to leave some behind on the dock? Maybe if you left a crate of beer on the dock you might find the boxes got mixed up?
Easier said than done unfortunately but I sort of have a plan something along those lines
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Old 18 April 2011, 11:19   #14
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obviously you take off the cap at either end point it at the sky and pull the trigger
Careful, they don't all work that way. You were probably using the old-style Pains Wessex parachute flares. Their new model has a different firing mechanism, as do other manufacturers - eg Hanson. The answer is to read the instructions carefully when you get new flares, and be sure you understand how your own are fired before you may ever need them

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When our flares go out of date I will urge GD to attend an RNLI flare meeting (like the one we did, I think they are done for the public too though) so that he can set off some flares and get a little practice.
The RNLI are not offering flare demonstrations at the moment - the latest thing is a session on "Calling for Help" which is a much broader topic. Even when they did flare demos (and doubtless it will be the same if they restart), they would not permit out-of-date flares to be used

And in answer to the comment elsewhere that some lifeboat stations might take in old flares, I'm afraid the answer is No. They are not permitted to do so. For most of us, it's the designated Coastguard stations, or persuade your chandler to take the old ones in return for your custom in buying the replacements

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Old 18 April 2011, 13:06   #15
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There are lots of flare demos on youtube . So if you need a demo for a particular type of flare there may well be one on line waiting for you !



I have some out of date smoke flares that my local chandlers have said they will take them off my hands when i buy some new ones .

Craig...........
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Old 18 April 2011, 13:10   #16
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If you were to find some out of date flares dumped in the street in a carrier bag and did your public duty,(in case children were to find them) and took them to the police station or nearest coastguard (not the RNLI) I doubt that they'd refuse to take them.
If such a thing were ever to happen of course............
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Old 19 April 2011, 06:56   #17
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And clearly, (as insurance companies have found), unlucky things seem to happen to the same people, its entirely feasible that you may keep finding that carrier bag every 3 years or so, in more or less the same spot
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Old 26 April 2011, 14:53   #18
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Indeed, however the hazardous classification for TEPs increases the second they become out of date (in other words they become more hazardous).
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As I've already mentioned, the hazardous classification of a TEP changes when it goes out of date.
No they don't. They are classified as 1.4G whether in date or expired.

There's lots of misinformation around about the whole subject. There were a couple of long threads about it a while ago:

Flares: should we give up carrying them?
Legislation about using distress flares
Disposal of flares

The official line for leisure users is "contact your local Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC), who will advise you on how the flares can be disposed of safely". It then says "The MRCC will tell you where your nearest disposal site is and its opening times. You'll have to deliver the flares to the disposal site at an agreed time. It's likely that you may have to travel a long distance, depending on the facilities available in your area."

The BMF also has a TEP Disposal Service for its members. Maybe it might be worth encouraging more use of this?

Your local firework company may be willing to take handheld red flares off you but they are less likely to be interested in the smokes or parachute flares.

It's not a great situation, but whatever the rights or wrongs of it, I suspect that in a few years time distress pyrotechnics will be history anyway.
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Old 27 April 2011, 08:03   #19
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John, TEPS are 1.4 only if they are in their original packaging, and they are transported in Secondary Transport Mitigation Cages (STMCs). Otherwise they are 1.2
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Old 27 April 2011, 08:53   #20
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... the hazardous classification for TEPs increases the second they become out of date (in other words they become more hazardous).
So what is their classification when out of date?

And I do not believe that they become more hazardous even if their class changes. If there is, as you say, a change then it is more to do with packing.

Either way my advice remains, make sure the company you buy flares from understands that they ought to accept the old ones. If in doubt contact the Coasties who are very used to fielding this question in your area.
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