Beware of aluminum signal flare found on beaches, shorelines

Oswego County Fire Coordinator Donald Forbes reminds people who walk along the Lake Ontario beaches to be alert for military signal flares, contained in an 18 ½-inch aluminum cylinder, that sometimes wash up on the shoreline and wetland areas.  

“Spent and live Canadian signal flares that wash up on the shore of Lake Ontario and the associated wetlands are a dangerous material,” said Forbes.  “They have labels warning people to notify the military or police. The flares should be left in place until a knowledgeable, qualified individual can examine and remove the device.”

The flares are used by the Canadian Navy during training exercises and may be combustible. Although not an everyday occurrence, if the flares are not completely activated they will continue to float and may wash up on shore.

Anyone who finds one should leave it alone and call 911. Untrained persons should not handle the flares.

The flares are aluminum-colored, 18 ½-inches long and 3 inches in diameter. They contain a warning label in English and French that states “Hazardous Material WARNING Contact Police or Military.”

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