Avoiding a flare-up

Disposing of old, out of date flares has become increasingly difficult with no particular body taking responsibility for safe disposal. There are now just 18 registered sites in the UK that can accept out of date flares. Up to 2005 the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) had a legal exemption allowing them to transport flares (which are categorised legally as explosives). The loss of this exemption and the total withdrawal of the collection and disposal service once provided by the MoD Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Teams has meant that the MCA must now operate in accordance with current Explosive Storage and Transport Regulations for the holding of out of date flares.

One site that has, up to now, accepted out of date flares is Walton on the Naze Coastguard (Thames Coastguard). However, as part of the re-arrangement of the Coastguard service the Walton Office is set to close at some stage in the next couple of years. So, it would seem to be a good time to check your loft and also those inaccessible lockers for any out of date explosives (otherwise known as flares …). TSC member Rob Crees managed to drop some flares recently at 8pm in the evening, so they are quite flexible. However, ring them on 01255 675 518 in advance as there has to be someone suitably trained to accept them.

It is only going to get more difficult to dispose of flares, so perhaps now is a good chance for a sort out?

Orange smoke float, rocket parachute flare and hand flare

Picture sourced from Wikimedia Commons – User Christopher Doyle.