Proper Storage & Care of Personal Flotation Devices

In many cases, life jackets are handled roughly and exposed to less-than-ideal conditions, including improper storage and extensive exposure to ultraviolet radiation. As a result of such conditions, PFDs may have a shorter service life. Therefore, boat operators should distinguish between life jackets available for use and those that must be replaced. In addition, it is crucial to maintain PFDs and life jackets according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

The following are some strategies for caring for life jackets and Personal Flotation Devices:

  • PFDs should only be used for the purpose stated on the label. They should not be used as seat cushions, kneeling pads, pillows, or for any other purpose other than personal protection.
  • Storing life jackets in a well-ventilated area where they are not exposed to direct sunlight is essential when storing life jackets and PFDs. There should be no heavy objects stacked on top of personal flotation devices. Before storing them, they should be allowed to air dry too.

The condition of a life jacket or PFD should be checked before it is worn to ensure that there are no rips, tears, missing parts, broken pieces, or mildew present. If a jacket exhibits any signs of wear, it should be immediately replaced, as it will not function properly in the water.



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