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Marine distress flares

In South Australia marine distress flares (parachute flares, red hand flares or orange smoke flares) are classified as explosives under the Explosives Act 1936.

All flares carry an expiry date and must be replaced on or prior to that date. Expired or unwanted flares must be safely disposed of to prevent any injury from unintended or deliberate ignition/firing in a non-emergency situation. Flares must not be disposed of in rubbish bins, landfills etc.

Expired flares must not be used for training purposes, public demonstrations or as fireworks, or form part of a fireworks display.

The South Australian Explosives Regulations 2011 require the owner of a date-expired distress flare to deliver it to a police station for disposal. Flares should be placed in a heavy plastics bag or spark proof container, before delivery to one of the following police stations that are equipped to receive marine pyrotechnics:

  • Port Adelaide
  • Gawler
  • Kadina
  • Mount Gambier
  • Port Augusta
  • Port Lincoln
  • Port Pirie
  • Whyalla.

The date-expired flares are collected by SafeWork SA and then safely destroyed.

Related Information

Explosives Act and Regulations