August 14th, 2023
When it comes to safety equipment, having it on board is not enough. It’s crucial to know how to use it effectively and to be certain that it will function properly when needed. This holds especially true for lifejackets, which can be stowed away for extended periods between trips. Unfortunately, many sailors overlook lifejacket maintenance, failing to notice the deterioration of the lifejacket and its components over time. But we can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure your lifejacket is in top condition before an emergency arises.
At Revere Survival, we understand the significance of lifejacket servicing. Regular inspection and maintenance are key to guaranteeing their reliability. While some checks can be done by the users themselves, we strongly recommend professional servicing by our qualified and experienced team of experts. Here’s what you can do on your own, ideally on a monthly basis:
- External Inspection: Carefully examine the lifejacket from the outside, including any reflective strips, and check all webbing for signs of wear, loose threads, or holes.
- Internal Examination: Open the lifejacket and inspect the condition of the zip or Velcro closure. Unscrew the gas bottle to prevent accidental inflation and ensure there are no holes or corrosion on the screw-in end or cylinder.
- Check Indicators: If your lifejacket has colored windows indicating the state of the bottle and trigger, ensure they are displaying the “safe” signal (typically green). Test the whistle and ensure its lanyard is secure. Visually inspect the light and battery if your lifejacket is equipped with them.
- Proper Packing: When reassembling the lifejacket, ensure it is packed correctly to facilitate efficient inflation, and make sure the cylinder is securely screwed back in place.
However, it’s important to note that conducting these checks is not the same as professional servicing. We strongly recommend having your lifejacket serviced annually by a manufacturer-approved service station. This not only protects your warranty but also ensures that all components will function properly in an emergency. If your lifejacket includes an AIS transponder or PLB, it is highly recommended to have it installed by an approved service center as well.
At Revere Survival, we have a network of service stations across the UK, Europe, the USA, and worldwide, where our expert teams perform comprehensive annual services. These services include inflation tests, inspection/replacement of gas cylinders and operating heads, and examination of buckle and zip closures.
Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Our servicing team frequently encounters lifejackets that, due to mismanagement, poor storage, or neglect, would fail in an emergency. You don’t want yours to be one of them. So, make it a habit to check, inspect, and service your lifejacket regularly. You never know when you might rely on it to save your life.
Choose Revere Survival for your lifejacket servicing needs and trust in our commitment to your safety on the water.