C.M. Hammar AB of Sweden, manufacturer of life jackets and other safety equipment has recommended that the gas cylinder used on their standard and automatic model PFD’s be routinely check for tightness. Based on an accident that occurred earlier this year they encourage checking the cylinder each time the lifejacket is donned. If the cylinder is not completely screwed in, the piercing needle will not be effective and the jacket will not inflate, either manually or automatically. If this occurs, the only way to inflate the lifejacket is through the oral tube.
The company also recommends that lifejackets be serviced annually by a professional, qualified service firm.It is a good idea to routinely check all life saving equipment, and especially life jackets. Not only can inflation devices malfunction, but also fabric and straps can deteriorate over time. Buckles and other related hardware should also be examined.