Defective Flare Guns

Have you checked your flare gun lately? An alert in the July 2003 edition of BoatU.S. Seaworthy magazine warns some plastic flare guns manufactured by Orion Safety Products (formerly Olin) are unable to be opened wide enough to accept a flare cartridge, rendering them useless in an emergency. The problem occurs when the nylon material used to keep the breech closed deforms, effectively jamming the mechanism and preventing it from opening.

All Olin plastic flare guns as well as Orion units manufactured prior to 2000 (the year an engineering fix was implemented) are suspect. Although no official recall has been issued, a company spokesman says Orion has acknowledged the problem and will replace any defective units. They recommend checking the gun at the start of each boating season and returning any defective units to the following address for replacement: Orion Safety Products, Marine Division, 3157 N. 500 West, Peru, IN 46970.