Serviceable Life Jackets and Personal Flotation Devices
For your life jacket to be ‘serviceable’ it must meet the following requirements:
- It must be Coast Guard-approved.
- It must be free of tears, rips or any other damages.
- All of the closures and zippers must work properly.
Always check to ensure these requirements are met before you head out on the water.
Maintaining Your Life Jacket
If you make a habit of cleaning your personal flotation devices, they will stay in better shape and maintain their serviceability. They also won’t need to be replaced as frequently—so you will save money!
How to Clean Your Life jacket:
Step 1) Use environmentally friendly soap and water (mild strength).
Step 2) Rinse the vest to thoroughly remove the soap.
Step 3) Never dry-clean or use strong detergents, gasoline, or chemicals as cleaners.
Step 4) Air-dry your vest out of direct sunlight and away from direct heat sources.
Maintaining Your Inflatable Life Jacket
Inflatable vests require more technology to work because they have specialized features like air chambers that inflate once the wearer enters the water. As a result, inflatable vests must be maintained more often than other types of life jackets. The owner’s manual will provide all the information you need to keep your inflatable vest in serviceable condition.
When to Replace Your Flotation Devices
Inspect all of your life jackets and throwable devices regularly—including when you first bring them home from the store. If any of your personal flotation devices are ripped or damaged, they should be replaced immediately. Remember, life jackets are often subject to factors like rough handling, improper storage and outdoor elements—any of these factors will break down the quality of your life jacket.