For some years now, it has become apparent that the prescribed use of
pyrotechnics as a primary visual signal for distress alerting and
location has a number of limitations that would suggest that the use of
pyrotechnic visual signals for distress alerting is unreliable and that
their carriage should now be reconsidered in the light of modern
It is generally accepted that it is prudent to carry a method of
sending a distress alert and identifying location should Search and
Rescue (SAR) services be required.
In its position statement on the alternatives to flares for distress alerting the EBA includes a table providing guidance on alternatives to flares for both distress alerting and locating purposes.
The EBA encourages authorities to reconsider prescribing the carriage of pyrotechnics which are unreliable and potentially hazardous to health and instead look at the safety benefits and effectiveness of modern alternatives.