The question “when should you discard a PFD” would be better answered right after getting to know what exactly PFDs are. Personal Floatation Devices, commonly known as PFDs are specially designed to help wearers stay afloat. It’s also known as a life jacket, life belt, and floatation suits in some quarters. It is a highly recommended equipment by the United States Coastal Guard for professional boaters and kayakers. This is because boaters’ failure to wear life jackets is one of the leading causes of boating deaths. Hence, boaters and kayakers must properly understand the need to use PFDs and how to use them.
Types of PFDs
Personal flotation devices, also referred to as life jackets, life jackets, and PFDs, are available a spread of shapes and sizes – they even make life jackets for dogs! There are different PFDs available for various sorts of water-related activities, so understanding the intended use of every design is extremely important. The Coast Guard classifies PFDs into five main categories, each with unique properties and intended uses.
Class I PFDs: Bigger and More Buoyant
These also are referred to as offshore life jackets and are designed to stay an individual afloat and confront for extended periods. They supply 22 pounds of buoyancy, the foremost of any PFD, and are designed to be used in deep, open water where an individual are often within the water for a big period before help arrives. Class, I life jackets are bulkier than other PFDs but are more likely to stay an unconscious person face-up within the water for an extended period of your time .
Class II PFDs: The Industry Standard
Class II PFDs, also referred to as shoreline floating vests, are the foremost common flotation devices. Also referred to as “classic” life jackets, these are the kinds that the majority people are conversant in as they’re found on most recreational boats. They supply 15.5 pounds of buoyancy and may turn an unconscious person on his back. Its use is usually recommended in calm inland waters where any rescue would be relatively quick. Class II life jackets are available a good sort of shapes and sizes designed for both children and adults.
Class III PFDs: Floatation Aids
Also called flotation aids, these PFDs come in a spread of shapes and sizes and are designed to be used in calm inland waters where rescue are going to be quick. Presumably, class III PFDs won’t topple an unconscious person. They are available in many various varieties designed for various boating activities. They supply 15.5 pounds of buoyancy.
Class IV PFDs: Throwable Aids
Several throwable flotation devices fall under the category IV category. These PFDs aren’t a replacement for wearable PFDs, but are designed to supply additional support or help someone who isn’t wearing their life vest. Common sorts of throwable PFDs include boat cushions, horseshoe buoys, ring buoys, et al. These devices are only useful if they’re easily accessible for quick launch in an emergency. Class IV PFDs aren’t designed for youngsters, non-swimmers, or any unconscious person.
Class V PFDs: Specialty Devices
These PFDs are primarily utilized in work settings. These include deck suits, work vests, and other specially designed PFDs. Its use in any sort of recreational setting would be highly unlikely.
Finding the Right Size PFD
PFDs come in all shapes and sizes. There are life jackets for babies and for very large individuals, there are even PFDs for dogs, so there’s no excuse for somebody to be equipped with a downsized personal life preserver. Always read the PFD manufacturer’s recommendations on sizing, which is usually supported an individual’s weight, to work out if each individual’s PFD is acceptable.
PFDs are classified by varieties for adults and youngsters, with several different size options available. Never allow an adult to wear a child-size PFD and the other way around. Never assume that a selected life vest will work, always confirm everyone tries it on to form sure it fits. The PFD should be snug, but not too tight, and every one fasteners should close completely.
Fastening a PFD
Whether you’re wearing a PFD that’s fastened by zippers, snaps, or claps, it’s important that it closes completely and remains closed while you wear it. To make sure that a PFD fits and buckles properly, raise your arms above your head and have someone grab the highest of the arm openings and lift it up, if the PFD remains in situ, as far as possible. It probably won’t get loose within the water. This YouTube video shows exactly the way to test a correct PFD fit.
Test PFDs in the Water
In addition to the aforementioned test, a PFD should be tested by dipping it into shallow water to make sure that it effectively keeps the user afloat. The user must be ready to float comfortably with the top above the water. Look to ascertain if the PFD is getting on the brink of the person, as this might indicate that the PFD is just too large.
Selecting Appropriate PFDs
When you attend the water section on the Anaconda website then click on life jackets, you’ll see checkbox filters on the left side of the page. Using these filters makes determining which PFD to shop for easier and faster because you’ll prefer to filter what you see by:
- Price: so you simply see the PFDs within your budget on the page.
- Categories: just for viewing PFDs for boating, fishing, waterskiing, or kids.
- Size: So you simply see PFDs that are the proper size for you and your loved ones.
- Sale: so you simply see all PFDs that are on sale or at clearance prices.
- Brand: So you’ll see PFDs made by a selected brand that you simply know and like.
The Maintenance Of PFD
Only personal flotation devices that are in good working condition are safe to use. PFDs that are damaged in any way should be disposed of immediately, as even the slightest damage can greatly reduce their effectiveness. Other ways to assist maintain your PFDs include:
- Never alter a PFD in any way. A PFD altered in any way is not any longer approved by the US Coast Guard. If a PFD must be modified to suit one person, another must be found. If any abnormalities are discovered, eliminate this PFD immediately as its effectiveness could also be compromised.
- Allow PFDs to dry before placing in storage. Storing a wet life vest can cause buoyant materials to interrupt down, ultimately reducing the buoyancy of the PFD. While it’s important to let a PFD dry, it’s not recommended to assist dry a PFD in an unnatural way, like putting it within the dryer or placing it on a radiator.
- Do not use PFDs for anything other than their intended use. The use of any sort of life jackets like a ship bumper, kneeling pad, or seat cover can decrease the buoyancy of the device. Floating material inside the PFD can break when crashed, so avoid using them for love or money aside from their intended use.
- Store your PFDs properly. Keeping your PFDs faraway from excess moisture and warmth can help preserve their buoyancy and keep them effective longer. Store in cool, dry places and exclude of direct sunlight when not in use. Also, keeping them during a safe place can prevent someone from misusing, altering or tampering with a life vest.
Security teams can’t be called security teams within the strict sense once they have lost their effectiveness. For instance, an agent wearing a vest might be injured or maybe killed during a shooting. This might not be because he wasn’t wearing a vest, but rather because the vest had become ineffective. Personal flotation devices are safety garments designed for all recreational boaters and kayakers. It’s essential to make sure that they’re always in perfect condition. This is often because using ineffective PFDs is like using none. Once they aren’t in optimal condition, they need to be discarded and replaced.