Flares are excellent distress signals. However, there is potential for injury and property damage if not handled properly. These devices produce a very hot flame, and the residue can cause burns and ignite flammable materials.
- Read the manufacturer's instructions before using flares. Pistol-launched and hand-held parachute flares have many characteristics of a firearm and must be handled with caution.
- Make sure that you fire aerial flares into the wind at an angle. In strong winds, keep the firing angle at less than 45 degrees.
- Approved flares have a Transport Canada approval stamp or label. Look for the date of manufacture, which is stamped on every flare. Flares are good for four years from that date. Properly dispose of flares that are past their expiration date.
- Distress flares should be stored vertically in a readily accessible, cool, dry, and prominently marked location.