Distress flares

All vessels operating outside protected waters must carry flares. The type you need depends on how far offshore you travel.

flare

  Flare Experience event: 3 August 2017

Marine Safety will be hosting the demonstration and members of the public are invited to attend and encouraged to actively participate.

This is a great opportunity for members of the public to see, handle and use emergency distress flares in a controlled environment.

Date Location Time
3 August 2017 Port Walcott VMR Clubrooms, Lot 280 Wickham Drive, Wickham 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

 

  Flare demonstration and training sessions

If you are arranging for a flare demonstration and training session, please ensure that you submit a Flare demonstration application form.

MAC_F_FlareDemo.pdf icon Flare demonstration application form Kb

  Types of flares

There are three main types of distress flares approved for use in Western Australia. All of them must be manufactured to Australian Standard AS 2092-2004 or comply with AMSA Marine Orders Part 25.

MAC-B-FlaresSafetyEquipDL.pdf icon Safety equipment: Flares - Marine Safety Kb
Orange smoke flares

Orange smoke flares

These are designed for day use only and have no luminosity. They emit a cloud of orange smoke. Orange hand-held flares burn for about 60 seconds.

The buoyant canister, which is safe for use in petrol or oil covered water, burns for about three minutes.

The potential sighting range by day is 4 km, although this can drop to less than 1 km in a fresh breeze; however, these flares are especially visible from aircraft, even on windy days.

Red hand-held flares

Red hand-held flares

These distress flares are designed for use both night and day and burn for about 45 seconds at 15,000 candle power.

The potential sighting range at night is 10 - 12 km and about 4 - 6 km during the day.

Red parachute distress rockets

Red parachute distress rockets

Red parachute rockets are designed for use both night and day.

The rockets project a rocket to 300 metres high and then deploy a parachute-suspended red flare, which burns for about 40 seconds at 30,000 candle power.

The potential sighting range is 15 km by day and 40 km at night.

Required flares

All boats operating outside protected waters must carry flares. The type you need depends on how far offshore you travel.

Location Distance from shore Smoke flares Incandescent flares
Inshore Within 5 nautical miles from the mainland, or within one nautical mile from an island situated more than 5 nautical miles from the mainland 2 hand-held orange smoke flares, or 1 orange smoke canister 1 hand-held red flares, or 2 parachute flares.
Offshore More than 5 nautical miles from the mainland, or more than one nautical mile from an island situated more than 5 nautical miles from the mainland 2 hand-held orange smoke flares, or 1 orange smoke canister 2 parachute flares

Only an offshore set of flares is required if operating in both inshore and offshore areas.

Flares and their characteristics

Style Type of flare Suitable use Burn time Sighting range potential
Smoke Orange hand-held smoke flare Day use only
No luminosity
Orange cloud of smoke
Especially visible from aircraft
60 seconds Day: 4km
Note: Less than 1 km in a fresh breeze
Smoke Orange smoke canister flare Day use only
No luminosity
Orange cloud of smoke
Especially visible from aircraft
3 minutes Day: 4km
Note: Less than 1 km in a fresh breeze
Incandescent Red hand-held flare Night and day
Emits 15,000 candle powers of light
45 seconds Day: 4 - 6 km
Night: 10 - 12km
Incandescent Red parachute distress rocket Night and day
Emits 30,000 candle powers of light
Propels a parachute-suspended red flare to an altitude of approximately 300 metres
40 seconds Day: 15km
Night: 40km

  Storage and expiry dates

Storage of flares

Storage

Flares should always be readily accessible: stored in a waterproof container, in a place where they don't receive too much pounding in rough conditions, away from dampness and heat sources above 60 degrees Celsius.

Expiry dates

Expiry dates

Flares must be within the expiry date and maintained in serviceable condition at all times.

Check your flares regularly to ensure that they have not been rendered unserviceable by exposure to moisture.

Mildew or bubbling of paper coatings may indicate signs of moisture.

  How to use flares

Flares are best used when you believe there is chance of it being seen.

The method used to fire flares varies widely between flare types and manufacturers. The firing instructions are always printed on the flare, and you should be familiar with your flares methods.

Hand-held red flares especially, burn very hot and may spill glowing embers. Hold it downwind so that embers don't spill into the vessel and tilt it while in your hand to avoid being burnt.

Opens in a new window Marine and Safety Tasmania: Flares - How to use them (Video)

  Unauthorised use of flares

There are severe penalties for the improper use of flares.

Flares have a very serious purpose. Falsely indicating distress rightly carries a severe penalty, but it also wastes a lot of time and resources - possibly weakening the ability to respond to a genuine emergency.

Do not leave flares in your boat when it is not in use, and keep them away from children.

  Disposal of unserviceable flares

Please do not discard unserviceable flares in general rubbish collections or land fill.

To ensure that the equipment is safely destroyed, flares should be disposed of at the following Department of Transport offices, participating Household Hazardous Waste Program centres or Volunteer Marine Rescue groups.

  • Prior appointment must be made on (08) 9431 1027 when handing in 10 or more flares at a metropolitan Department of Transport office.
  • The Department of Transport office at Essex Street Fremantle is unable to accept expired flares

Department of Transport and Household Hazardous Waste program centres

Service Type Suburb Business Name Phone number Phone number (secondary) Fax Pre-booking required Business Hours Email Street address Postal address Business Type Comments
Flare disposal site Albany City of Albany (Flare disposal) (08) 9842 3415 No Please call for details. Hanrahan Road Waste Minimisation Facility, Hanrahan Road, Albany WA 6330 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Albany Department of Transport, Albany (Flare disposal) (08) 9892 7312 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 178 Stirling Terrace, Albany WA 6330 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Australind Bunbury Harvey Regional Council (Flare disposal) (08) 9797 2404 No Please call for details. Stanley Road Waste Management Facility, Stanley Road, Australind WA 6233 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Balcatta City of Stirling (Flare disposal) (08) 9205 8555 No Please call for details. 238 Recycling Centre Balcatta, 238 Balcatta Road, Balcatta WA 6021 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Baldivis City of Rockingham (Flare disposal) (08) 9528 8550 No Please call for details. Millar Road Landfill Facility, Millar Road West, Baldivis WA 6171 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Brookdale City of Armadale (Flare disposal) (08) 9399 3935 No Please call for details. Armadale Landfill and Recycling Facility, Hopkinson Road, Brookdale WA 6112 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Broome Department of Transport, Broome (Flare disposal) (08) 9192 0200 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 9 Napier Terrace, Broome WA 6725 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Bunbury Department of Transport, Bunbury (Flare disposal) (08) 9792 6607 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 24 Wellington Street, Bunbury WA 6230 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Busselton Busselton, Volunteer Marine Rescue (Flare disposal) (08) 9754 7777 (08) 9754 7775 No Please call for details. Georgette Street Boat Ramp, Busselton WA 6280 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Canning Vale City of Canning (Flare disposal) 1300 422 664 No Please call for details. City of Canning Transfer Station, Lot 502 Ranford Road, Canning Vale WA 6155 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Carnarvon Department of Transport, Carnarvon (Flare disposal) (08) 9941 1830 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) Boat Harbour, Harbour Road, Carnarvon WA 6701 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Esperance Department of Transport, Esperance (Flare disposal) (08) 9076 2100 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) Suite 3 Balmoral Square, 53 The Esplanade, Esperance WA 6450 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Exmouth Department of Transport, Exmouth (Flare disposal) (08) 9947 8200 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 21 Maidstone Crescent, Exmouth WA 6707 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Fremantle Department of Transport Fremantle (Flare disposal) (08) 9431 1020 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 14 Capo D'Orlando Drive, Fremantle WA 6160 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Geraldton Department of Transport, Geraldton (Flare disposal) (08) 9956 0111 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 65 Chapman Road, Geraldton WA 6530 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Henderson City of Cockburn (Flare disposal) (08) 9411 3444 No Please call for details. Henderson Waste Recovery Park, Rockingham Road, Henderson WA 6166 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Hillarys Department of Transport, Hillarys (Flare disposal) (08) 9448 7544 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 86 Southside Drive, Hillarys WA 6025 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Jurien Bay Jurien Bay VMR (Flare disposal) (08) 9652 1950 No Please call for details. Breakwater Drive, Jurien Bay WA 6516 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Karratha Department of Transport, Karratha (Flare disposal) (08) 9159 6900 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) Shop 2, 20 Sharpe Avenue, Karratha WA 6714 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Kununurra Department of Transport, Kununurra (Flare disposal) 13 11 56 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) Messmate Way, Kununurra WA 6743 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Mandurah Department of Transport Mandurah (Flare disposal) (08) 9431 1026 No Monday to Friday 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. (excludes public holidays) 107 Breakwater Parade, Mandurah WA 6210 Department of Transport
Flare disposal site Narngulu City of Greater Geraldton (Flare disposal) (08) 9923 3188 No Please call for details. Meru Waste Disposal Facility, Landfill Lane off Goulds Road, Narngulu WA 6532 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Parklands City of Mandurah (Flare disposal) (08) 9550 4700 No Please call for details. 80 Waste Management Centre, Corsican Place, Parklands WA 6210 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Port Denison Port Denison, Volunteer Marine Rescue (Flare disposal) (08) 9927 1770 No Please call for details. Point Leander Drive, Port Denison WA 6525 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Port Hedland Port Hedland, Volunteer Marine Rescue (Flare disposal) (08) 9173 3055 No Please call for details. 10 McKay Street, Port Hedland WA 6721 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Red Hill Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (Flare disposal) (08) 9574 6235 No Please call for details. 1094 Red Hill Waste Management Facility, Toodyay Road, Red Hill WA 6056 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Shenton Park Western Metropolitan Regional Council (Flare disposal) (08) 9384 2544 No Please call for details. JFR (Jim) McGeough Resource Recovery Facility, Corner Brockway Road and Lemnos Street, Shenton Park WA 6008 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Tamala Park Mindarie Regional Council (Flare disposal) (08) 9306 6303 No Please call for details. 1700 Tamala Park Waste Management Facility, Marmion Avenue, Tamala Park WA 6030 Authorised Agency
Flare disposal site Toodyay Shire of Toodyay (Flare disposal) (08) 9574 2661 No Please call for details. Railway Road Transfer Station, Railway Road, Toodyay WA 6566 Authorised Agency

For more information on the Household Hazardous Waste Program visit the WasteNet website. This Program is administered by WALGA and funded by the Waste Authority through the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account.

Opens in a new window Waste Authority
External Link Wastenet: Household Hazardous Waste Program

 

Page last updated: Thu Jul 20 2017 11:57:27 AM