How to dispose of Flares and 12 Guage shells? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 06-30-2009
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How to dispose of Flares and 12 Guage shells?

I have an old Olin Flare kit that I am replacing flares and shells. The old ones are dated 1988 and several are already leaking propellant. What is the proper way to dispose of these items?
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Old 06-30-2009
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Not speaking from experience or anything...

Getting hammered and shooting them at a campfire is NOT the recommended disposal method (they ricochet)
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Old 06-30-2009
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if they were still in good condition I would say take them out to a ranch (when there is not a burn ban like there is in houston) and shoot them off for july 4th. but since the're not ask someone at a place they sell them at and they might tell you. also lots of recycleing places will accept old car batterys, motor oil, old bullets etc... so try those
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Old 07-01-2009
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Check with your local fire department, or police.
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Old 07-01-2009
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Your local USCG station should have an orange dumpster in their parking lot where they accept used pyrotechnics, or some other program to take them.

If not, go to your local FD who will probably tell you to soak them in a bucket of water then thrwo them out.

Those that are not damaged are usually fired off on the 4th of July or other holidays for the purpose of getting familiar with pyros. You'd be surprised at how wimpy they are.

For future use, you might prefer to stow all your pyros in an airtight container--not the pretty orange junk usually sold with them, but a metal ammunition can or similar. When they are stowed air-tight, they essentially don't degrade and the outdated ones become useful spares.

Our pyro tin is an ammunition can, repainted gloss white then international orange, so it is quite visible. It is labelled as such, with an inventory listed on it, and the caution "DO NOT OPEN EXCEPT IN EMERGENCY".

The metal can also gives you extra protection against one going off by itself from spontaneous combustion--which combustibles sometimes do.
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Old 07-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Those that are not damaged are usually fired off on the 4th of July or other holidays for the purpose of getting familiar with pyros. You'd be surprised at how wimpy they are.
Don't do it! Read this, from the US Coast Guard web site:

"The limited resources of the Coast Guard, along with the increase of maritime traffic on the Fourth of July, means the firing of a flare could result in a delayed response to legitimate emergency situations on the water. Firing a flare when not in distress could result in a Class D felony charge, six years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines and reimbursement of all costs the Coast Guard incurs as a result of the false distress."

Last edited by jvisser; 07-01-2009 at 02:51 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 07-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheresTheBrakes View Post
Not speaking from experience or anything...

Getting hammered and shooting them at a campfire is NOT the recommended disposal method (they ricochet)
They ricochet? Hmmm, sure sounds like the voice of experience!

In any event, there may be an outdoor group in your area that will take them and use them, as one in our area does, to fire off in a demonstration class once a year. It truly is amazing how little and wimpy the 12 gauge flares are when seen from a hundred yards away, let along a mile away. Check with your local marine store to see if they know of any.
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Old 07-01-2009
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I have a question.
Why dispose of an out of date Flare?
I always keep fresh ones on board that are with in date, (we just volunteered for an aux inspection and we were 100% compliant) but when the old ones expire, I keep them on board. Just in case. I mean, do you think there not going to fire? Are they any more dangerous to have around?
My thinking is the more the better. I keep them on board.
Please if I am doing something wrong or illegal let me know.
If they are in good shape and show no sign of deterioration, why dispose of them other than the fact that they date syas Oct 2008?
Keep up to date Flares on board and the expired ones I keep as back up.
Is this not sound thinking?
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Old 07-01-2009
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If they are SOLAS flares, this is an excellent idea. At the last Safety At Sea seminar I attended, they fired off some expired SOLAS flares, including some that were 15 years past their expiration date, and they were better than brand new USCG flares.

As long as they're in good shape and not deteriorating... go for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
I have a question.
Why dispose of an out of date Flare?
I always keep fresh ones on board that are with in date, (we just volunteered for an aux inspection and we were 100% compliant) but when the old ones expire, I keep them on board. Just in case. I mean, do you think there not going to fire? Are they any more dangerous to have around?
My thinking is the more the better. I keep them on board.
Please if I am doing something wrong or illegal let me know.
If they are in good shape and show no sign of deterioration, why dispose of them other than the fact that they date syas Oct 2008?
Keep up to date Flares on board and the expired ones I keep as back up.
Is this not sound thinking?
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Old 07-01-2009
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jv, sometimes you need to put things in context.

No, you wouldn't fire off flares just for the hell of it while out on the water--or anyplace else the USCG might be confused by them. What you do is fire them off someplace where there is no USCG presence or response (like at a park where fireworks are being shot off) OR YOU CONTACT THE USCG as per standard procedure and tell the local station "we are firing practice flares at xx o'clock, please be advised".

"Firing a flare when not in distress could result" Key word is "could". You could also put out your eye if you were looking down the barrel at the time you shot it off. But there's nothing absolutely criminal or illegal about just firing the things off--with a little common sense.

Any sailor who has never fired off their Olins can never understand why SOLAS flares are so hugely overpriced. Fire a SOLAS flare, and you'll feel like a real moron for having carried the Olins for all these years.
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