Requirements Regarding PyroTechnics Put Forth by SOLAS

Having  pyrotechnic equipments on board ship is not enough. They should be in proper ship-shape, handy, easy to use, and effective when any kind of emergency take place on ship. For this reason, SOLAS has but forth rules and regulations regarding storing, handling, and working of pyrotechnic equipments use on board ships.


Requirements of pyrotechnics as per SOLAS

Hand Flare– The hand flare’s minimum requirement as per SOLAS chapter III regulation 25 are;


  • Must be contained in a water tight casing.
  • Must have self ignition system.
  • It should not cause discomfort to the person using it.
  • It must not harm the survival craft if used while boarding the same.
  • It must illuminate with a bright red color.
  • A simple & brief operating instruction diagram must be their on its casing


Rocket parachute flare– The minimum requirements for rocket parachute flare as per SOLAS chapter III regulation 26 includes all the points mentioned above with following more requirements;


  • The minimum vertical height of rocket, when fired from the operating point, must be 300 m.
  • A parachute must be activated when it reaches top or near to the top of it’s trajectory level
  • It must burn for a period not less then 40 sec with minimum luminous intensity of 30000 candelas.
  • The rate of decent after opening of the parachute must be minimum 5 m/sec.
  • Arrangement must be such that it must not damage or burn the parachute when the flare is activated.


Buoyant smoke signals– The minimum SOLAS requirements for buoyant smoke signal as per regulation 37 are;


  • Contained in water resistance buoyant container with clear diagram for operating instruction.
  • It should not ignite or explode if used as per the described operating instruction.
  • Smoke emitted must be of high visible color with a uniform rate and minimum period of 3 min.
  • It must emit only smoke and not flame when floating in calm water.
  • If immersed in water, it must emit smoke for a period of minimum 10 sec.

Line Throwing Apparatus– The minimum requirements for this appliance as per regulation 49 are;


  • Must have good accuracy.
  • A brief instruction with diagram must be present in the container.
  • Must have minimum 4 projectiles, each carrying line to at least 230 m in calm water.
  • Must have 4 lines with breaking strength not less then 2 kilo Newton.


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About Author

An ardent sailor and a techie, Anish Wankhede has voyaged on a number of ships as a marine engineer officer. He loves multitasking, networking, and troubleshooting. He is the one behind the unique creativity and aesthetics at Marine Insight.


  1. Hello sir…sir i wants to know the expiry period of ptrotechniques onboard?
    Hoping for ur help!
    Thnking u in advance

  2. What is the expected reliability of SOLAS Certified pyrotechnics items? Commonly mentioned are the performance requirement of the SOLAS Certified items but not about its reliability, since it’s a critical life saving item onboard ships

  3. Hi, I seem to struggling to finding out how to get rid of expired pyrotechnics. Are there any international regulations like SOLAS, that will clarify how ships get rid of expired pyrotechnics? Or does each flagstate have their own requierments? Im confused.
    Thank you in advance for any replies.

  4. Shelf life (month and year) introduced by the manufacturer is no more than 42 months after the date of manufacture (48 months in the case of propellant components containing pyrotechnic material)

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