Distress Signals and Pyrotechnics are available for sale at Professional Safety Services (UK) Ltd. Contact our sales team on 01423 323 302.
If there is one type of boating safety equipment you are unlikely to use until you need it in an emergency, it’s pyrotechnic/visual distress signals: flares, rockets, smoke signals, and other attention-getting devices that burn, sputter, smoke, or explode. The Coast Guard requires boaters to carry approved visual distress signals, and approves two types: pyrotechnic and non-pyrotechnic devices. The non-pyrotechnic approved device is a three foot orange flag for day use only. (Dye markers and signal mirrors, though useful to attract attention and often carried by boaters, are not Coast Guard approved.)
In the pyrotechnic category, the regulations are broad and how you fill the requirements for your particular type of boating is fairly flexible. The choices include a variety of red handheld or aerial flares for day and/or night use, and devices that emit orange smoke for daytime use. The Coast Guard sets a 42-month service life and expiration dates are stamped on the devices. The International Maritime Organization approves signals for commercial use on the high seas with a SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) rating. These devices far exceed Coast Guard standards for luminosity and many boaters use the more expensive SOLAS devices for the added margin of safety they provide. If you opt for pyrotechnics, you must carry three devices approved for day and/or night use, but beyond that, you have the choice to mix and match what you wish to carry. By far, pyrotechnics are the popular choice and the majority of boaters opt to meet minimum Coast Guard requirements with handheld flares or gun-launched meteors that are approved for day/night use.
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