Unfortunately, Max-on is correct in what he said. The USCG-approved hand flares tend to drop hot slag. The SOLAS-approved ones do not. SOLAS parachute flares may burn up to 60-90 seconds, and can travel quite a distance.
If you really need to fire off a flare, the white ones can be fired off fairly safely, as they are not generally used for emergencies. Get the same brand as the red handheld flares that you'd normally use. For parachute or meteor flares, it is a bit more difficult, due to the greater visibility these have.
A safety seminar, with hands-on section, is probably the safest way to go.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.