How to Make an Emergency Smoke Flare

This project should not be attempted without adult supervision. Adequate training ignition of an incendiary or explosive material may not be legal in your area. Misuse, or careless use, of tools or projects, may result in serious injury, death, and/or permanent damage to equipment and property.

Around the 4th of July, you might find smoke bomb fireworks in your local firework store. They're fun for all ages and can produce a lot of smoke in a manner of seconds. Smoke is one of the best ways to alert anyone that you’re in need of help. And in an emergency, red or orange colors are internationally associated with a distress signal. With having access to your own emergency smoke flare this in an emergency it could become a real life saver!

First off, when making this recipe it should be made outdoor in a well-ventilated area. Do not do this indoors or in a garage. This recipe is designed to produce a massive amount of smoke. Prior to testing inform your surrounding neighbors that you’re going to make a lot of smoke. Depending on where you live, igniting this can be illegal.

You’ll need
• 60g of Saltpeter
• 40g of Saratoga Farms Sugar
• Skillet Or Pan
• Spatula
• Paper Cup
• Electric Burner
• Food Scale
• Outdoor Extension Cord
• Fire Extinguisher
• Gloves
• Goggles Or Safety Glasses
• Cylinder (cardboard tube, soup can or soda can)
• (5) Cardboard 2" X 2" (if you use cardboard tubes)
• Hot Glue Gun (if you use cardboard tubes)
• Matches or Lighter
• Cannon Fuse Cord

Dawn on your gloves and goggles and laugh like a mad scientist - check.

STEP 2 – Assemble
If you’re using cardboard you’ll want to plug-in your hot glue. Take your cardboard tube and cut it into 2" long segments and with the hot glue gun glue to the bottom onto your 2-inch cardboard base. No such thing as too much glue, so don’t be stingy.

STEP 3 – Measure & Cooking
As we mentioned before, do all cooking outside in a well-ventilated area. Plug your extension cord to your home power source. Plug in your electric burner and place your skillet/pan onto the burner. Take your food scale and place the paper cup onto the food scale. Measure out 60 grams of Saltpeter and 40 grams of Sugar. Add the powders to the skillet.


Turn on the electric burner to a medium-low heat. With your spatula, you want to fold the clumping powder into itself. It will start to change color and soon the sugar will caramelize into a thick peanut butter consistency.

STEP 4 - Combine
Now, take your skillet over to the cylinder and pour the mixture into your container. Insert 4" of cannon fuse cord into the mixture. Let the mixture cool for 15-20 minutes.

STEP 5 – Test
You’ll want to have your fire extinguisher on hand. Place your smoke flare in an open area away from any plants or combustible material, like you do when you celebrate 4th of July. Ignite your smoke flare and step 15-20 feet away and enjoy.

Images used from this Video:

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