Looking through my emergency signalling canister this spring I found four handheld Handheld Signal Flares. Since it was the Fourth of July I thought it might be a good time to dispose of them by lighting them off on the shore. Seems to me learning and lighting about emergency signal flares is best tried with out being under an emergency situation. So soon after sunset I took the dingy to shore along with a large metal can that I would use to hold the flares after I set them off. It was an eye opening experience. While these flares are meant to be handheld the flame is extremely hot. They can also sputter dropping hot flaming particles about. How hot are these flares? Hot enough to melt through the metal can that I put them in:
That's pretty hot! If a handheld emergency flare can melt the metal can. Imagine what it will do to a fiberglass deck or the pontoon of an inflatable!
LESSON LEARNED: If you need to light an emergency handheld flare make sure you hold it far enough over the side so that it won't cause a fire on deck or damage your life raft.