Hand held flares are potentially explosive. They can generate searing heat and drip red-hot molten metal. And they can save your life.
However, try practicing with them on the water and you could draw a bunch of unwarranted attention from authorities. That's why the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water recently tested a range of handheld signaling devices on the water in both day and night conditions and put the entire video series of real-world tests at BoatUS.com/foundation.
"Everyone has these great safety devices aboard, but it's a challenge to learn how to use them to improve your chances of a swift rescue," said BoatU.S. Foundation Vice President Chris Edmonston. "The videos will also help boaters make the right purchasing decision by showing them what to expect on the water," he added.
The tests included SOLAS approved handheld flares, USCG approved gun-style flare launchers, parachute and meteor flares, smoke canisters, and pocket rockets as well some non-pyrotechnic visual distress signals such as the newest battery-powered laser signaling devices and distress signal flags.
Accompanying the videos is an online feature article, Foundation Findings #45, Flare Tests Enlightening , which provides an overview of the tests and results.
For more information, go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation