Battery-Operated Road Flares

We recently evaluated several different electronic battery-operated road flares. All them offer a much safer alternative to burning road flares, that is also reusable. The State of California recently outlawed the use of burning road flares for good reason. They needlessly cause fires and expensive roadway damage. Modern LED technology now can provide us with battery-operated flares that are both highly visible and very durable. What follows is a comparison of three different flares we evaluated. Thanks to David Dunham who did all the great work on this project!

The Powerflare is the most durably constructed of the battery-operated flares we tested. It has a case that will stand up to almost anything.  We threw it against a cement wall, and ran over it with both a car and a fire truck. It did not break or fail to operate. It works very well at night and has two different light pulse settings.   It lights up a traffic cone well when put underneath it, or when placed on the top. It uses a CR123 battery with a 20-hour battery life. The Powerflare offers unmatched durability but is not as visible as the Safety Site.

We were also very favorably impressed with the Safety Site. We were able to break it with our throw test, but only the replaceable lens. It continued to operate and we found that it performed remarkably well.  It did not appear likely to survive being run over. We were impressed with the light intensity and long-range visibility.  It features a high performance light reflector that permits visibility at over 2 miles.

The Safety Site has the brightest bulb, a Super Bright Luxeon made by Whelen, a leader in emergency lighting. Over the last 2 years they have had only 10 returned, most after having been run over by drunk drivers. A case can be made that if the flare is brighter, it should get hit less often. It also offers the best battery life of one hundred hours.

Turboflare was perhaps the first electronic flare and is physically the largest. But it was not as bright or visible as either the Safety Site or Powerflare.  They offer a wide variety of accessories like flags, triangles, and cones to help make it more conspicuous. When we threw it against the wall, it switched off but came right back on. When we ran over it, we broke the legs off. The Turboflare comes in two versions, Yellow for pedestrian use and Orange for commercial or industrial use.  The difference is the battery life and durability. The orange one can take more abuse and has a battery life of 30-hours. It offers a fair balance of performance and durability.

We believe the Safety Site and Powerflare offer the best combination of price, performance, and durability. AllMed will offer both options for our customers’ consideration when choosing a safer alternative to burning road flares. We will offer both the brightest flare, and the most durable flare.

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About Dan White

I'm a retired Paramedic and EMS Instructor with 35 years EMS and emergency medical product experience. I love canoes, cars and EMS. I have written a lot about EMS Technology on the Paramedic Blog, the Insights on Innovation column for EMS1.com, on AmbulanceWorld.com and Multibriefs.com. I can be reached directly at 573-240-0002.
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