Pyrotechnic and screening devices are normally
equipped with some type of safety pin, lock, or tape that
is designed to prevent accidental activation of the
initiation mechanism. Do NOT tamper with such
equipment. Do NOT strike, bend, or otherwise remove
the safety equipment until just before the device is
launched Any devices that show signs of damage to the
safety features are considered unserviceable; carefully
put them to one side and promptly dispose of them
according to current directives.
If a pyrotechnic device should accidentally ignite,
it will result in a fire hazard. In a confined area, the
gases generated by this combustion could present a
serious toxic hazard. Signaling charges that contain
propellant charges, designed to propel the pyrotechnic
candle into the air, create an extremely dangerous
Pyrotechnic compositions characteristically
contain their own oxidants; therefore, they do not
depend on atmospheric oxygen for combustion. For this
reason, exclusion of air, by whatever means, from a
pyrotechnic fire is usually ineffective. Many
pyrotechnic mixtures, particularly illuminating flare
compositions, burn with intense heat (up to 4,500°F).
Normally, extinguishers are not useful in this kind of
fire. Carbon dioxide extinguishers, in addition to being
ineffective, are potential sources of danger because they
tend to produce oxygen, which supports the combustion.
Foam-type extinguishers are equally ineffective
because they work on the exclusion-of-air principle.
Water, in flooding quantities and at low pres-
sure, should be used to cool the surrounding
area and to prevent the spread of the fire.
Properly controlled and directed, water is the
best fire-extinguishing agent for aircraft
parachute flares burning in the open.
Pyrotechnic hazards are frequently increased by
such factors as age, improper storage conditions,
rough handling, moisture penetration, excessive
temperatures, damage to shipping containers, and
other mishaps that causes the devices to become
unserviceable. In most cases, immediate danger
does not exist. Unserviceable pyrotechnic and
screening devices on ships at sea are put to one side
for normal return to an appropriate shore station
for disposition according to the instructions
and regulations contained in NAVSEA OP 5,
Conditions may develop that demand emergency
disposal of potentially hazardous devices. In such
cases, disposition is the responsibility of the
commanding officer. Under NO circumstances, other
than an extreme emergency, should ammunition,
explosives, or other related hazardous materials be
dumped at sea by a Navy vessel, aircraft, or activity
without prior approval of the CNO. If, in the
commanding officers best judgement, immediate
disposition is necessary to protect lives and property, the
commanding officer should order such disposition by
the most appropriate means available. In all cases, the
commanding officer must notify Naval Sea Systems
Command, at the earliest practical time, of the facts and
REVIEW NUMBER 5
Pyrotechnics are dangerous to handle because
they are composed of
Combustion requires oxygen. By what method
is oxygen supplied to pyrotechnic devices?
What means should you use if there is a fire
involving parachute flares?
REVIEW NUMBER 4 ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS Q1. THROUGH Q5.
A1. The purpose of decoy flares is to provide evasion tactics for naval aircraft when
they are threatened by enemy heat-seeking missiles.
A2. Mk 46 (Mods) decoy flares are launched from either the AN/ALE-39 dispenser set
or the AN/ALE-37A chaff dispenser.
A3. The Mk 131 impulse cartridge is used to fire a decoy flare from a chaff dispenser.
A4. The Mk 4 Mod 3 signal cartridge is used primarily for practice bomb night
A5. The CXU-3A/B signal cartridge is used for practice bomb day missions.