WE'RE NOT INFLATING THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS MESSAGE
CHECK FOR PROBLEMS BEFORE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT!
This safety alert reminds all inflatable life jacket users of the importance of performing periodic maintenance on their equipment. Instances of fatal accidents where inflatable life jackets failed to properly inflate have been documented. When a life jacket fails to inflate properly, the results can be life threatening. Unknown bladder leaks may exist, fabric degradation or an improperly installed CO2 cylinder is all it takes to render an inflatable life jacket ineffective by preventing its inflation or ability to stay inflated.
Various manufacturers of inflatable equipment will likely have different maintenance instructions for their products and directions for the user to service and inspect the devices. Knowing and following the manufacturer's maintenance instructions are critical. Proper maintenance service and inspection will ensure all parts of the life jacket including the bladder, inflation mechanism and CO2 cylinder are checked and in good working order.
The Coast Guard highly recommends routine maintenance, service, and inspection in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
The following inflatable life jacket inspection guidance is for informational purposes only and does not supersede any manufacturer recommendations or instruction:
Store your life jacket in a dry, well ventilated location away from dampness and out of direct sunlight. It’s important to rinse your life jacket with fresh water after salt water exposure and dry it thoroughly prior to storage. If your life jacket is set for auto-inflation, remove the auto-inflation cartridge prior to rinsing. The life jacket manufacturer may have specific requirements, so read the instructions on the lifejacket.
This safety alert is provided for informational purpose only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational, or material requirements. Developed by the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety and the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis. Questions or comments may be sent to HQS-PF-fldr-CG-INV@uscg.mil.
Re-Arm Kits, Life Jackets & Flares (Remember to Check Expiration Dates)