How to Take Care of Your Life Jacket
Taking care of your life jacket will ensure it is kept in good condition and ensures it will perform as it should do when the time arises, keeping you safe. In addition to this it will actually save you money as it will last longer and will not need to be replaced as often.
We have pulled together some top tips for maintaining your life jacket. Follow these and you will your jacket will last longer and continue to perform well.
After using your life jacket, allow it to drip dry in a well ventilated space before stowing it away. This will help to prevent mold or mildew.
Always rinse off your life vest with fresh water after it has come in contact with salt water as exposure to salt water can cause damage over a period of time.
Be sure to never dry your PFD on or under a direct heat source, such as a heater, radiator, dryer, or in direct sunlight. Doing this will weaken the buoyancy and drastically limit its life span.
Don’t be tempted to use your life vest as a cushion, they are not designed for this and should not be used as a one. By placing weight or pressure on a life jacket you are impeding it future ability to keep you afloat in the water.
If your life jacket does not fit you properly, do not attempt to modify it in any way. An altered life jacket could impact its ability to save a life, and each person on board should have a life jacket that is made to fit them correctly. Also, if it is altered in any way, the manufacturer’s warranty is void.
You can read our Best Life Jackets Guide which has more information on how to choose a life jacket which fits you correctly.
Thoroughly examine your life jacket prior to your activity on the water, checking for any rips in the fabric or seams, and make sure all snaps, hooks, pockets, and tightening latches work properly.
Consider taking it to a professional at a marine shop for an inspection. Most companies who are experiences in these assessments may not charge you, but even if they do, this small amount of money could save your life.
Do not leave your life jacket stored away for long periods of time when not in use, especially during the Winter and Summer months. The extreme temperatures can damage the buoyancy.
However, all life jackets will deteriorate over time. Purchasing new life jackets is inevitable but looking after the ones you have will give you better value for money.