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How does the technology work?
The RECCO technology is a two-part system, including an active detector and a passive reflector. The RECCO detector sends out a directional radar signal, which is reflected back by the RECCO reflector, leading rescuers to the location of the person in distress.
What is the difference between a RECCO reflector and a RECCO detector?
The detector is a standard search device used by professional rescuers during search and rescue missions. Directly integrated into clothing and gears or added to the equipment the reflector is always functioning and carried by the skier, hiker, biker, climber, or all-year-around outdoor enthusiasts.
Is there a difference between the handheld detector and the RECCO SAR helicopter detector?
The handheld detector R9 and the RECCO SAR helicopter detector are both based on the same technology.
Lightweight (only 1 kg), the handheld detector R9 is used by professional rescuers to conduct search and rescue operations on avalanche terrain. The handheld detector can locate reflectors within a range of approximately 20m through packed snow.
The RECCO SAR Helicopter Detector allows professional rescuers to perform rapid searches for missing people on a larger scale in the outdoors all year round. Searching with 100-meter-wide corridors the RECCO SAR Helicopter Detector can cover about 1km2 within 6 minutes.
Where is the best placement for the attachable reflectors?
The attachable reflectors are developed to be used according to the application instructions on the packaging for optimal performance of the product. The backpack reflector is developed for summer use. If using the backpack reflector when skiing or on an avalanche airbag it is important that the backpack is secured with a leg loop, minimising the risk of losing the backpack in an avalanche. Regarding the helmet reflector, the best placement is the top part of the helmet. If you want to be flexible for many sports, we recommend using several reflectors or a RECCO belt, designed with two integrated RECCO reflectors, to adapt to all sports. Note: We do not recommend placing a helmet or backpack reflector inside a pocket or sewing it onto your clothing as it could have a negative effect on the functionality.
It is always a good idea to inform family and friends about the equipment you are carrying and that you are searchable with RECCO reflectors in order for them to be able to inform the rescue team in case of an accident or missing person situation.
Read our safety booklet The Plan for more safety recommendations.
When should I be equipped with RECCO reflectors?
Whenever you are active in the outdoors, from winter activities (skiing, ski touring, mountaineering, snowshoeing and snowmobiling) to summer activities (hiking, climbing, mountain biking, hunting and mushroom picking), we always recommend being equipped with RECCO reflectors. Wearing RECCO reflectors makes you searchable to professional rescuers, should an avalanche occur or if you are injured or simply lost in the outdoors.
Can I wash clothing with integrated reflectors?
Yes, garments with integrated reflectors can be washed. We recommend you follow the washing/drying instructions inside your clothing.
Note that the reflector should not be ironed or tumble-dried hot.
Is it recommended to wear more than one reflector?
Wearing several reflectors could increase the chances of one reflector being in the best orientation and position for an optimal reflection.
Where is the RECCO system in use?
RECCO detectors are used by rescue professionals and ski patrollers worldwide as a standard rescue tool in more than 900 ski resorts and mountain rescue organizations in 32 countries. A complete list of detector locations can be found at recco.com/global-network.
Does a RECCO rescue reflector replace a transceiver?
The RECCO rescue reflector is an additional safety tool and does not replace a transceiver. The transceiver makes you searchable to your companions, whereas the RECCO rescue reflector makes you searchable to professional rescuers.
A backcountry skier should always carry a transceiver, shovel and probe, and wear a RECCO reflector as a backup, should the transceiver's batteries fail, or the device is turned off.