Inflatable Life Jacket Care

Inspecting your inflatable life jacket.

Every 2-3 months of use, or at the beginning of the season, you should inspect your life jacket to ensure that it will work properly when you need it. Here's what you need to do…


Check Mark Icon Visually Inspect the Jacket

Icon of a person visually inspecting an inflatable life saving flotation device.

Check jacket for rips, tears, holes, broken buckles, etc.

Check Mark Icon Orally Inflate Jacket to Capacity

An example of how to orally inflate an inflatable PFD.

Even automatically triggered life jackets have an orange inflation tube at the front upper left portion of the jacket. In an emergency, you can to inflate the jacket if the CO2 fails, and for testing, you can use it to make sure the jacket holds air when inflated.


Checkmark Icon Visually Inspect CO2 Trigger and Cartridge

Image of a cylinder commonly found on inflatable life saving devices.


Inspect cartridge to ensure that it hasn't been discharged. Inspect inflator for corrosion and serviceability. If you have an automatic, hydrostatic, unit, be sure to inspect and replace the dissolving "pill" or "bobbin" if equipped with a new one."



checkMark.jpg Inflate Jacket for 16-24 Hours

Icon of a clock which reads how long to ensure the jacket maintains pressure [16 to 24 hours]

Inflate for 16 to 24 hours to ensure that it holds air. You can also immerse the personal flotation device to check for leaks in it or in the manual inflation tube.

Checkmark Icon If Jacket Holds Air, Repack and Use

Icon of a person repacking an inflatable life jacket after a careful inspection.

Frequent inspection of your jacket can save your life! For specific information, refer to your life jacket owner's manual. For general life jacket information please see our Foundation Findings.


Introduction to Life Jacket Inspections


Inspecting Inflatable Belt Packs

Inspecting Inflatable Vest Jackets


Frequent inspection of your jacket can save your life! For specific information refer to your life jacket owner's manual.