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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find Frequently Asked Questions about the PowerFlare® Electronic Beacon. Click on the question to see the answer to that question. NOTE: Some of the specifications (regarding recharging, for example) do not apply to the PowerFlare® "LC" non-rechargeable beacon. Consult the appropriate specs sheet for information.

How is the PowerFlare® product different than other Electronic Beacons?

Durability: The PowerFlare® unit's ultra-compact, internally reinforced design and high-strength housing is designed to handle the impact and pressure of truck run-overs at highway speeds and works under water to 300' depth. No other traffic flare, electronic or incendiary, is this tough.

Visibility: The PowerFlare® product uses the latest in ultra-bright light-emitting diode (LED) technology, similar to the LEDS in new police and fire light bars. The user can select various flash patterns to manage visibility and battery life using PowerFlare's proprietary LED management circuitry.

Rechargeable: The intelligent charging system prevents overcharge and ensures the unit is always ready to go. The user does not need to fuss with alkaline batteries or worry that the device is not good to go.

Safety: PowerFlare® is water-tight and non-reactive, allowing it to be used at HAZMAT scenes. Unlike other solutions, it does not contain or emit any toxic or noxious chemicals or fumes.

Flexibility: PowerFlare® is not just an Electronic Beacon, it is a platform for many applications from recreation to military.

A printable specs. sheet is available here.

View our downloads area for images and video clips of PowerFlare® units in action.

How does the PowerFlare® product pay for itself?

Consider what it costs to use old-fashioned flares: Government bulk pricing is about $1 per 15-minute flare, or $4 per hour. The Table below outlines how the costs quickly add up for public safety agencies.

The Cost of Incendiary Flares Using a 10-flare Pattern
100 hours 500 hours 1,000 hours 2,000 hours
$4,000 $20,000 $40,000 $80,000

For three years of operation at two hours of flare usage per day, 10-flare incendiary pattern cost approaches $80,000. The PowerFlare® electronic traffic safety system is much less expensive because it can be re-charged and re-used many times. An overview of our products is available here.

Cost to equip one police car with PowerFlare® 5-Pack. Assume that in one year the car responds to 20 incidents per month where 5 flares are deployed:

PowerFlare 5-Pack Cost:$500
Fusee Cost:$1,200
Savings from Using PowerFlare:$700 per vehicle

Then, multiply this savings by the number of vehicles in your fleet.

Visit our benefits area for more cost-justification information and downloads.

Can the PowerFlare® units only be used for traffic safety?

The uses are limited only by your imagination. Customers who need a reliable, ultra-rugged, ultra-bright light can range from SCUBA divers, hikers, and cyclists to the military. A list of many applications is available here.

How difficult is it to install the PowerFlare® charger in my vehicle?

The charger (size of a small lunch box) is easy to install. It is direct-wired into the existing wiring of the vehicle or can be plugged into the cigarette lighter.

What if I want more than 5 PowerFlare® units in my vehicle?

The charger is modular. Up to ten 5-pack systems may be connected together for simultaneous charging of up to 50 PowerFlare® units.

Can individuals buy PowerFlare® units — can I buy just one?

Yes. You should get the PowerFlare® 1-Pack.

How long will PowerFlare® units flash per charge?

PowerFlare® units feature an intelligent charging system and power management circuitry that allows them to flash in excess of 24 hours, depending on the flash pattern selected.

How long will my PowerFlare® unit last? Do the bulbs burn out?

Unlike other systems that use filament light bulbs or strobes, our units are equipped with LED technology (like those used in the new light bars) that can last 100,000 hours. There are also no switches or moving parts in our units to wear out. The limit on the life of the unit is the battery. We recommend replacing units in heavy use at least every three years. Since the PowerFlare® unit pays for itself in less than 20 hours, substantial savings vs. fusees will be realized by the time it needs to be replaced.

What LED color options are available for PowerFlare® units?

According to the vehicle code in many jurisdictions, the light for road flares must be red. Special order units are available in yellow, green, blue, and infrared for use as command post beacons, homing beacons, landing zone markers, and in other applications.

What flash options are available for PowerFlare® units?

PowerFlare® units can be set to any of the following flash patterns with the PowerFlare® Activation Wand:
  1. double-flash
  2. single-flash
  3. rotate
  4. alternate
  5. solid-on

These options let the user decide between high-visibility and extended battery life options. The solid-on mode can be useful as emergency continuous lighting. For example, the unit could provide light to change a tire at night. The on-board circuit will remember the user-preferred flash pattern even after the batteries are discharged, so it is not necessary to select the pattern again after removing the unit from the charger. If you need a special flash pattern, we can custom-build units to your specifications.

Can PowerFlare® units be mounted on traffic cones or barricades?

Yes, PowerFlare® units can be clipped on to cones, barricades, and other objects with the PowerFlare® Clip Mount. They can be set for MUTCD Class A (flashing) and Type C (steady burn).

Will the charger drain my battery?

The charger draws a very low amount of current, even when the units are recharging. After the charge cycle is finished, the load is negligible. The charger will also shut itself off if it detects your car battery is low.

Will the batteries suffer from "memory" or overcharge?

No. PowerFlare® units have a smart charging circuit built in. They are meant to handle partial charges and other battery-taxing events.

What are some safety advantages?

  • Federal Regulations 49 CFR §§ 392.25 & 393.95(g) prohibit the carrying of any flame-producing flare on any Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) transporting explosives; any cargo of flammable liquid or flammable compressed gas, whether loaded or empty; or any CMV using compressed gas as a motor fuel. PowerFlare™ products would be allowed on such CMVs, however.
  • Ford Motor Co. has identified fusee flares as a "dangerous" item w.r.t. the ongoing issue of rear-impact crashes and fires in Crown Vics; read more. You can also download a U.S. DOT report.
  • There have been numerous cases of flares "spontaneously" combusting in the trunks of police cars.
  • Click here to read a report on officer injuries and fatalities (statistics).
  •  Made In The USA
    Copyright © 2003 PowerFlare Corporation. POWERFLARE, the PowerFlare logo, and "By First Responders for First Responders" are trademarks of PowerFlare Corporation. All other marks are the property of their respective holders. Specifications subject to change without notice. Pat. Pending.
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