Spring Cleaning – Do Not Forget Your Flares

Spring is here and it is time to turn our attention to getting our boats ready for and year of sailing.  

As part of readying the boat, check your flares. Canadian regulations state flares must: 

  1. Be no older than 4 years from the date of manufacture.
  2. Consist of six pyrotechnic distress signals, not more than two of which are smoke signals.
    1. The flares may be reduced up to a maximum of 50%, provided the number of smoke signals does not exceed 50% of the permitted number of smoke signals if equipped with:
      1. a means of two-way radio communication;
      2. a 406 MHz personal locator beacon that is the subject of a technical acceptance certificate issued under subparagraph 5(1)(a)(iv) of the Radiocommunication Act, worn by the pleasure craft operator; or
  • a 406 MHz emergency position-indicating radio beacon.

Flares contain materials that are potentially hazardous to the environment (e.g., strontium nitrate, fuel oil) and that can be unstable once expired. Therefore, proper disposal of flares is required. 

 In years past, flares were accepted at local police detachments and fire halls for disposal; however, many of these agencies no longer accept expired flares due to the associated environmental and safety risks. There are now few responsible and accessible options for the disposal of expired flares, which can lead to their unsafe storage and/or improper disposal. 

Several Canadian Power Squadron’s are partnering with CIL and members of the boating service industry to provide for safe disposal of outdated marine flares. Outdated flares can be dropped of at the following locations in British Columbia:  

April 30, 2022
Inlet Marine
4-850 Barnet Hwy, Port Moody, BC V3H 1V6
Port Moody Power and Sail Squadron 

6902 North, Island Hwy N, Nanaimo, BC V9V 1P6
Nanaimo Power and Sail Squadron 

May 14, 2022 

Steveston’s Marine Services
8331 River Rd Richmond BC V6X 1Y1
Fraser Power and Sail Squadron 

Steveston’s Marine and Hardware
1667 W 5th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1N5
Vancouver Power and Sail Squadron 

May 21, 2022
Lakes Marine Supply
5968 Trans Canada Hwy Duncan, BC, V9L 6C8
Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron 

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