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How to Check your Lifejacket

Look after your lifejacket and it will look after you…
It doesn't matter whether you have a manual or automatic lifejacket, what does matter is that it works!
It’s really important that you check your lifejacket, at least annually, so here's a great RNLI video showing how to check yours. 
Here's a summary of the 5 steps:
1 - Visual: Check for obvious wear and tear to the webbing, stitching and fabric. Check that all zips and fastenings are working as they should.
Unzip the lifejacket on a flat surface, taking a few photos as you unpack it…
2 - Gas cylinder: Cylinders can work loose, so should be checked monthly. Check the cylinder still contains CO2, is in date and is without corrosion. Check there’s no corrosion transfer onto the lifejacket bladder too.
3 - Clip / capsule: On manual lifejackets, check that the retaining clip is in place. On Automatic lifejackets, check the capsule is ok and also in date. It’s worth carrying spare lifejackets or spare rearming kits!
4 - Air bladder: Inflate the bladder using the oral tube and leave inflated for 24hrs in a stable temperature to check there’s no leaks. Deflate the bladder by using the reverse of the cap and then replace the cap.
NB - I personally prefer to use a gentle pump to inflate the lifejacket orally for hygiene reasons!
5 - Repacking: Do follow the manufacturers guidelines on repacking and refer to the photos you took. Remember to fold NOT roll!
See our other ‘How To’ guides at