FAQs – Road Flares
Flares, also known as fusees, are a type of emergency preparedness product that is used to generate intense light and/or heat without producing an explosion.
Most often, flares are used for signaling, illumination, and sometimes defensive countermeasures. Whether you call them road flares, safety flares or signal flares, they refer to the same type of flares.
The ability of generating an intensive amount of light and heat for signaling is what the Gateway Safety Flare is known for.
When you light a flare, it can usually last for 15 to 30 minutes depending on the exact type of flares that you purchased. At Gateway Safety, we produce three main types of road flares, the 15-minute ones, the 20-minute ones, and the 30-minute ones.
When properly stored, an unused road flare has an indefinite shelf life. However, in most user cases (99.99%), you should go by what it says on the flares, as the stabilizers flares contain will slowly and surely weaken overtime.
Most road flares on the market are valid for two to four years. Make sure to check the manufacture’s date and read the manufacture’s instruction before using a flare.
First of all, do NOT throw any kind of unused flares in the regular household trash even if they are past the expiration date. With enough heat or pressure, flares can spontaneously ignite.
Additionally, do NOT light flares just to use them up in public; as flares are emergency signals and can instigate an emergency response.
Please contact us with further questions on disposing flares.
Proper ways to dispose of flares:
Call your trash company to find out if they have a hazardous-materials pickup day or will accept hazardous materials at their local facility. If not, they can often direct you to a local facility for hazardous waste management.
Alternatively, you can contact your area fire department or police station for that information as well.
Option 2: You could ignite road flares on the ground in a safe and remote area. Make sure you follow the instructions below to properly light a road flare without creating the confusion of getting an emergency response.
Option 3: If you wish to dispose of road flares at home, you could also follow the steps from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.
Lighting a road flare is not hard – at least it is not supposed to be, but just like changing a flat tire, it is best if you practice and know what to expect before you actually need to use them.
Step 1: Pick up the road flare, having the side with the cap on facing away from you.
Step 2: Remove the cap at one end of the flare and you will likely see a rough striking surface on the outside edge. The striking surface is typically a sheet of coarse material.
Step 3: Remove the cap, exposing the flare’s igniter compound. If you need to twist to get the cap off, do it gently, as this is the end you will light the flare from.
Step 4: Make sure you check the wind direction and surroundings before doing this step. Hold the body of the flare towards the base.
Strike the striking surface across the flare’s igniter compound in an outward motion, away from your body. Just like you would light a big match.
Remember, once lit, the flare will likely drip the molten materials from its end, so hold the flare as far away from your body and face as possible.
Step 5: Point the flare downward and place it wherever you need it. Do not drop it or throw it, as you will lose control over its location and the flare could break.
Do NOT extinguish the flare by stepping on it.