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Date: 12 August 2020. New Flares.


In the 2014 vignette Flares Expire (my solution) I described my method of keeping track of my flares. In the intervening years I have changed that system and made it simpler. Today I shall cover that minor improvement in this brief update.

Last month my flares expired. I bought a new set at Walmart for $20.
The flares are kept under lock and key. They are found in the sporting goods section of that store near the fishing lures.

It is important to buy flares in a place where there is a large turnover of product. The expiration date is approximately 3-years away so you will want a store that sells a lot of the item. That way your "throw away" date is far into the future. Though you can purchase online, I would only do so at a marine store such as Defender.



Regarding online purchases of items that expire:


I bought Sil-Pruf online. When mine arrived I was disappointed to discover the expiration date was just a couple months away. Thus I will not buy a time-limited item unless I can be assured the product will be good for at least a year.

Sil-Pruf is a sealant that expands and contracts. I used it with my solar panel supports that are bolted through the overhead.

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All flares have an expiration date. The Orion brand guarantees they will function as required for 3 years after the date of manufacture. That is why I try to get a date a long way into the future. The latest set of four expires in November 2023.

Though some folks do dispose of their expired flares, I save mine. They are placed into a bag labeled Outdated.

My old flares are kept at the bottom of the container, below the newest batch. They are in a separate labeled bag.

The newest flares are at the top of the orange Orion container. I keep it just inside the door to the cockpit.

NOV 2023 is taped to the top of the orange container. The date is clearly visible when
I dust. For me the tag on the top is sufficient to let me know when to buy more flares.

The current price is $20 at Wal-Mart for a package of four.

My outdated flares are not a first choice option in an emergency. Having extras available is in my view a good idea. Honestly though, I do not know that I have ever shot off a flare gun. I probably should do that at some point. Perhaps using the old flares, eh?

No doubt there are laws regarding the use of flares in a non-emergency situation. Those rules probably start with something along the lines of "don't do it" ... if anyone knows of the procedure to legally test shoot a flare gun, I would like to know. Thanks!

Thank you for reading.  

Have you ever shot off a flare gun?
Is recoil much of an issue?

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