With summer right around the corner and boating season ramping up, it is time to assess your EPIRB and make sure it’s in working order. One of the most important things to check is the battery of your emergency beacon. All beacons have a finite battery life, owners will either need to replace their beacon or have its battery changed by the manufacturer or authorised service agent if it’s past its expiration date. You can find the expiration date printed on the side of the beacon.
Some beacon owners will choose to replace or upgrade their beacon rather than just replacing the battery, if this is the case then special precautions must be taken when finally disposing of your beacon. In September 2018 alone, there were 10 beacons inadvertently activated due to mishandling. This usually occurs when beacons are thrown in the bin and end up at waste disposal facilities. As a result, precious emergency resources are wasted looking for beacons that have been inadvertently activated and may not be available for a genuine emergency.
GME run a beacon refurbishment program, where you can have the battery of your beacon replaced for less than the cost of a new one simply by returning the beacon to our head office in Winston Hills, New South Wales. Alternatively, the instruction manual for each beacon provides information on how to dispose of your beacon correctly. In Australia, Battery World stores across the country can also dispose of beacons on your behalf for a small fee.
It is important to remember to de-register your beacon with AMSA after you dispose of it the same applies if you’ve recently sold your beacon. You can do this by contacting AMSA on 1800 406 406 or at www.amsa.gov.au/beacons.