5 tips on how to store your life jacket
Lifejackets can last a long time, to extend the working life of your life jacket thinking about how you are going to store the jacket is important.
Several things may seem obvious but are notable to mention;
1. Find a dry well-ventilated place
Life jackets are water activated. Making sure that the stowage place for your jackets is dry and ventilated and not open to water and moisture in any way, is important. Storing life jackets in areas that are insulated and well-ventilated helps to reduce the build-up of condensation on the life jacket and in particular in the auto-firing cap. If stored in areas of high condensation / low ventilation this can also create a breeding ground for mould which can damage the life jacket.
2. Hang up if possible
Not always possible, but when stowing your life jacket keeping the lifejacket vertical helps any condensation that might develop in the auto cartridge to drain away from the paper coil that activates the jacket.
3. Put Away Dry
Making sure that your life jacket has been put away dry and not wet is again an obvious but important step. If very wet, opening up the life jacket and hanging up to dry will speed this process up. If the lifejacket is really wet then removing the automatic head would be a good idea as well.
4. Wipe away salt and dirt
Use a warm damp cloth to regularly wipe away dirt and salt from the lifejacket cover will make sure the life of your lifejacket is extended.
5. Always check your inflation system before donning
You should be able to access your lifejacket's inflation system easily, via a window or similar. The zip also allows quick access without having to totally unpack.
With the considerable improvements in auto-firing caps over the years accidental inflations are rare however they still can happen. If your life jacket does suffer from an accidental inflation make sure to inflate the bladder for 24hr to check it is OK before repacking and using it.