We, like most folks that have owned their boats for an extended period, have accumulated a stock of out-of-date but still functional flares that we occasionally like to use for live-fire training exercises. In the pre-9/'11 days, one could merely make an all stations announcement of VHF Ch# 16 that a live-fire flare training exercise was being held at whatever hours (local and Zulu) at position whatever North, whichever West and that flares observed from/about that position for an interval of X-minutes/hours would be for training purposes only. Subsequent to 9/'11, the rules have become somewhat more stringent but are not unduly burdensome. To ensure we were in compliance with local requirements, however, I sent a letter of inquiry detailing our plans for a live-fire exercise to the USCG, Tampa Bay, last June, noting time, date, location et al. The following is the response I rec'd:
I received your letter the other day asking about proper protocol for conducting training with meteor flares. All the measures that you mentioned in your letter are prudent and appropriate. By notifying us 24 hours or more prior to the evolution, we will release the broadcast for you. In order to release the message, please contact the Sector St. Petersburg Command Center at (727) 824-7506 and provide the following information:
Type and amount of ordinance you will be testing including color
Location where you will be expending the ordinance
Time duration of the planned exercise
Your name and a reliable phone number (preferably two)
On behalf of the Coast Guard, I greatly appreciate you contacting us to confirm your procedures. By talking with us now, you have potentially saved a significant amount of resources that would otherwise responded to this incident.
If you have any other question or concern, please contact the Command Center.
LT Michael Persun
Sector St. Petersburg Command Center
P: (727) 824-7506
I suspect the foregoing would apply in your locale as well.