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Disposing Of Old Flares?


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Just had to buy a new set of flares to replace ones that have reached their expiry date. What do I do with the old ones? Obviously they can't be thrown in the rubbish. Is there somehere (in qld) to take them?

Thanks, slinky

I was reading somwhere the other day that the bush fire brigades use out of date ones for execises.

I also have a pack sitting in my shed I need to dispose of so I need to chase it up.

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Tony, hope this helps - these are some drop off points for QLD

Expired flare drop off points:

Qld Transport Maritime Operations,

Some VMRs,

Some Coast Guards,

Qld Boating & Fisheries Patrol, and

Fire Stations at Bundaberg, Mackay & Airlie Beach.

The Qld Recreational Boating Hand Book has the full list of drop off points.



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Good opportunity to show awareness to your regular boating partners of how to discharge them.

With exception to the rockets, the hand and smoke flares can be discharged pretty well most places without causing alarm to others. We do them in the backyard - just tell the neighbours first. If they're like ours, they to will like to come and observe.

Advise your local authorities first if necessary.



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If you can't catch the fire brigade up there Tony, it might be an idea take the flares to one of the Gold Coast chemists. He might decide that the easiest way for him is to have the old flares incinerated with his out of date cough mixtures and asthma tablets etc, and it would be easier for you and it would be refreshing to see some of the honeymoon couples, health addicts and sun seeking albinos being able to spend more money on eye drops and gas masks in the area.


jewgaffer :1fishing1:

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If you were in NSW the only place to now hand them in is the police station and they will fill ( like ammunition) in a form and they then have them collected from the station. Takes like 2 minutes and nothing funnier than getting the junior probationary and telling him you have some explosives to hand in and banging them on the counter while giving the sarg a wink. The emergency services OH&S won't let em touch them and similarly the coast guard , fire brigade etc now only use in date ones for demos so I am told.

Definately illegal to dispose of them any other way.

Slinky up North the VMR runs flare days and they actually get members and visitors to a park or beach and set some off ( not sure if they use old ones) and you used to be able to let your off as well . I did hear that one of the flare manufacturers was helping and supplying new flares cheaply to the organisations ( OH&S or insurance was stopping use of old ones) and also providing a drop bin for out of date ones for disposal. Good to actually fire them and learn.

Can't suggest enough that you keep a pair of long wristed leather gloves where you store flares on the boat as if you have ever let them off you will understand . Every 12 months read the instructins as you aren't going to have time when the crap hits the fan and try and remember what they feel like as they have different textural symbols on the cap and in pitch black you want to let the right one off. We keep a cyclume sitck with the safety gear so we will have some light if all electrics are out.

In theory it is probably illegal to posess out of date flares in NSW but we keep the old packet on board as a backup if it is still in perfect condition ( as we have full cabin out of weather) . This used to be suggested but no doubt it probably isn't these days. Probably won't perform 100% but better than nothing. God only knows what an insurance company would say but seriously a flare ony lasts a short time so the more the better.


Hey Mariner I have a couple of funny stories about letting off flares in a residential block and you wouldn't believe the mess inside a mates hose when the doors were open and the wind changed. Neighbours nearly choked. Only do it the once and a bucket of sand sort of works to put em out. Was much better when you could just take em to a sporting match and let em off -- ahhh those were the days .

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Hi All,

I just checked out the NSW Maritime website for flare info (mine are out of date :thumbdown: )

Quote from the site http://www.waterways.nsw.gov.au/docs/sbh/bh2008-part2.pdf

"Most flares have a use-by date of three years and they should be replaced before the expirydate. If your old flares appear to be in good condition keep them onboard as a backup. Once they start to look damaged, enquire with the manufacturer about the best means of disposal. Don’t put them in the garbage or take them to the tip. Note: It is an offence to set off flares except in an emergency.

Best bet to check your state's rules on letting them off before you have the flare party in the back yard. :1badmood:

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Thans for finding that.

They have just increased the fines for that style of offence as well in those new rules.

Surprised they are still suggesting that in these days of litigation by insurance companies should they go off accidentally or cause corrosion. As a hint if you do keep them on board I would never show them on a safety inspection with police as they are not supposed to be in posession if expired.

Edited by pelican
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