Traditional Road Flares or LED Flares - Which is best?

Traditional Road Flares or LED Flares - Which is best?

Justin G11/10/20

Incendiary (burning) flares also known as: “Fusee”, “road flares”, “fuse”, “emergency flare”, or simply “flare” has been in use for a century. They work well, but have too many faults in their function and design.

road flare

Road flares (the incendiary type) are bright and work in most conditions, but they have more drawbacks than good features. First of all, they are classified as a “Flammable Solid” and must be stored and cared-for properly.

flare smokeWhen ignited, they give off a dense toxic smoke of potassium perchlorate and strontium nitrate (hazardous materials) that can itself be blinding, irritate the eyes,  and burn clothing/skin.

Exposure to these chemicals can cause corrosive injury to eyes, inflame the respiratory tract, and irritate skin. The excessive light and smoke produced can also blind oncoming traffic.

road flare smoke
Besides having an open flame that is hot enough to melt tires, the incendiary road flare cannot be used at accident scenes where there is oil, fuel, or hazardous materials present or when there are high winds/heavy rain, or high-fire dangers.

used flareThe left-over flare scars road surfaces, easily breaks down, and leeches hazardous materials into the ground contaminating the soil and our drinking water. Additionally, the average incendiary road flare only has a burn-time of 20-30 minutes.

michelin flare

The Best Alternative
LED road flares, like our Michelin High Visibility LED Road Flare, are the best choice under all circumstances. Unlike their incendiary counter-parts, LEDs do not emit flames, they do not contain any hazardous materials that can burn skin/eyes/lungs, they are completely waterproof, and they do not create blinding smoke. Way brighter than Chemical Light sticks (Chem sticks), they are indefinitely re-usable and do not contaminate the ground water or accumulate more waste in the landfill.

fire truck fred LED road flare
The Michelin LED Road Flare can be used in any position and does not need to be placed in a specific direction in order to be visible to oncoming traffic (360° visibility); even upside down or backwards Michelin LED Road Flare will illuminate as intended – the same cannot be said for incendiary flares.

The Michelin LED Road Flare has magnets on the back so that it may be attached to a metal surface, and folding hanging hooks for attaching to traffic cones, barriers, stretchers, signs, or on a person. With non-hypnotic flash patterns, the Michelin LED Road Flare is safer as it is less-likely to disorient drivers.

police LED road flare
To top it off, the Michelin LED Road Flare is DOT Compliant under 49CFR § 392.25 & 393.95(g) and is IP67 Waterproof rated to FL1 standards! With a run-time of up to 100 hours, the Michelin LED Road Flare cannot be beat.

DOT Approved flare

Quick List of Features

  • 6 Lighting Modes (5 Flashing, 1 Worklight)
  • 6 Colored LEDs, 6 White LED worklight
  • IP67 Rated (Waterproof/Dustproof)
  • AA Battery Powered (Philips batteries included)
  • Emits No Heat, Safe
  • Magnetic Backing, 2 Hanging Hooks
  • DOT Compliant 

car led michelin flare

FAQ

Aren’t LED flares more dangerous because they have to be retrieved? -Any time you must enter an active roadway, danger is present. Most departments will not allow officers to leave a scene with road flares burning on the road way as it is unsafe and poses a danger to motorists. Road flares must be retrieved so that they may be extinguished and disposed of properly. LED flares only need to be picked up and turned off.

Are Michelin LED Road Flares dangerous if run-over by vehicles – becoming projectiles? -Unfortunately yes, just as any other foreign object on the roadway is. Rocks, incendiary road flares, glass, car parts, and of course LED flares can all become projectiles. The difference between the incendiary road flare and the LED flare is that the LED flare will not burn you, your car, or start a brush fire when it lands.

Why not rechargeable? - A rechargeable model for public safety simply does not make sense. If your car is disabled on the side of the road and you need to deploy a rechargeable flare, what do you do if the battery is dead? Recharge it? It’s too late if you already need it!

This is the very question we posed to Police and Fire Fighters prior to releasing the LED flare; their answers were a resounding and unanimous "No" to rechargeables. Our flares only need a simple battery change. 

 

Traditional Flare Michelin LED Flare

Hazardous Materials

YES

No

Creates Smoke

YES

No

Fire Hazard

YES

No

Must be handled carefully

YES

No

Contaminates water/land

YES

No

Run-Time

15-30 Minutes

Up to 100 Hours

Can be used by anyone

NO

Yes

IP67 Waterproof

NO

Yes

360° Visibility

NO

Yes

Can be used indoors

NO

Yes

Multiple Flashing Modes

NO

Yes

DOT Compliant 

Yes

Yes

Used by Law Enforcement & Fire Departments Worldwide

Yes

Yes

 

Did you know that the Michelin LED Road Flare has a smaller brother that is perfect for everyday commuters? Check out the Wagan Tech Original FRED Light - available as a single unit or as a 3-pack with included storage bag!

 

DOT Compliant under 49CFR §392.25 & §393.95(g)

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