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Replacement & Disposal

Pyrotechnic signaling devices (including aerial flares and hand held signals) expire 42 months after the date of manufacture in accordance with the Coast Guard requirements. Typically, this means that you must replace your flares every three boating seasons. The Coast Guard regulations requires that each pyrotechnic signaling device must be stamped with the expiration date. Accordingly, check the expiration dates on your flares and signals as shown below. If they have expired or will expire during the boating season, you must replace them...it's the law!

shows expiration dates on product
*Orion also prints the expiration date on all packaging.


To dispose of expired marine pyrotechnic distress signals, Orion recommends the following method:

  • Ignite hand-held signals flares on land in a safe area, much the same as highway flares would be ignited.
  • Contact a local law enforcement or the fire protection agency for their advice on proper visual distress signal disposal.
  • Retain flares for back-up use to expand signaling time in the event of an emergency.
  • NEVER jettison visual distress signals overboard.
  • NEVER activate marine flares in a non-emergency situation on or near regulated water.
  • NEVER dispose of flares in household trash.

Click here to download the U.S. Coast Guard Seal of Safety checklist.

Click here to download the information from the U.S. Coast Guard on visual distress signal requirements.

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