What you need to know to choose life jackets/ floatation devices:

JBS supplies a complete range of life jackets. We are close partners with Mullion (Sioen) life jackets and flotation devices, which are made in Ireland. They have 25 years of experience supplying floatation devices to mariners worldwide. JBS also offers a lifejacket maintenance/inspection service).

Below we list some of the more usual queries regarding life jacket selection:

Question: What is the difference between 275 Newton and 150 Newton flotation device? How do I decide which I need?
Answer: The difference is the level of buoyancy or flotation provided – a 275 Newton having a higher level of buoyancy being nearly double that of 150 Newton. A 150 Newton should only be used where light weight clothing is being worn and no heavy tools being carried. It is not recommended to the used with a flotation suit or a dry suit. (As it is possible that it will not self-right you in conjunction with this type of clothing). A 275 Newton should be used where heavy weight clothing is being worn or tools are being carried, or when wearing a flotation suit of dry suit. All Mullion 275 N lifejackets are compatible with Mullion flotation suits.

Question: What does Newton buoyancy relate to?
Answer: Newton buoyancy basically relates to the amount of upward force or uplift provided by a lifejacket (or flotation suit / buoyancy aid) in the water.
1 Newton = approximately 1 tenth of a kilo (100 grams)
So a 50 Newton buoyancy aid will give 5 kilos of additional uplift in the water; a 150 Newton lifejacket will give 15 kilos of additional uplift; a 275 Newton lifejacket will give 37.5 kilo 27.5 kilos additional uplift.

Question: How long is a lifejacket guaranteed for?
Answer: This depends on the nature and frequency of use. If it is used in a leisure environment on an occasional basis (providing it is well looked after and serviced regularly) then it may well last for tens of years. If being used in a heavy duty commercial environment on a regular basis then it may only last 1 – 2 years.

Question: How often do I have to have my lifejackets operating parts changed / what is the life on these parts?
Answer: The life / replacement period on the operating parts is as follows:
SOLAS light: 5 years
CO2 gas cylinder: 5 years
United Moulders Firing Cartridge: 3 years
Halkey Roberts Cellulose Bobbin: 2 years
Hammar inflation mechanism: 5 years
NB. This is assuring there is no interim damage or corrosion to these parts within this period. If there is, then they should be replaced at this point.

Question: Should a crotch strap be worn at all times?
Answer: It is strongly advised that it should be. Otherwise you fall into the water, the tendency will be for the lifejacket to come up over your head with the force of inflation and the impact of the water. Then your lifejacket will not give you the correct protection and / or support your head out of the water.

Question: How important is a spray hood?
Answer: In an offshore environment, it is very important as it covers the face and protects all your airways – i.e. ears, nose and mouth from water flushing into them from the wave motion. It also provides comfort and a degree of thermal protection to the face by keeping it enclosed and covered.

Question: It is possible to purchase inflation mechanism and gas cylinders for rearming my lifejacket when it has been fired?
Answer: Yes, Mullion supply all rearming parts required for all Mullion lifejackets and rearming instructions can also be supplied.

Question: My garment incorporates an integral inflatable lifejacket. Does the complete garment have to be returned for servicing?
Answer: Ideally yes, as then the JBS service centre can ensure the inflatable bladder / lifejacket can be refilled correctly after service.

Question: Is my weight a determining factor in the selection of my lifejacket? If I am heavy in weight do I need to buy a 275 N instead of a 150 N?
Answer: Not necessarily. Generally speaking larger than average people have more inherent buoyancy in their own bodies and greater lung capacity than smaller people so the additional buoyancy required to support you in the water and self-right you is sometimes less than with a smaller person.

Question: Are your lifejackets filled with EN1095 deck safety harness suitable for lifting purposes? E.g. Helicopter rescue?
Answer: No, this harness is only designated for use with attachment to a safety line on deck and is not designed or approved for lifting purposes

Question: What is the key protection given by a lifejacket?
Answer: The key protection factors of a lifejacket are that on water immersion it will:
Self -right you if you fall in face-down and / or unconscious
Will support your head and upper torso above the water level to minimize the risk of drowning

Question: How often should my lifejacket be serviced?
Answer: For SOLAS life jackets they must serviced at an independent approved service centre approved by both the manufacturer and the National Administration. E.g. In the UK this would be the MCA (Maritime & Coastguard Agency). They must be serviced at intervals of 12 months maximum.
For CE life jackets there is no legal requirement for servicing but it is strongly recommended that they are also serviced by an independent approved service centre or an annual basis.

Question: What is the difference in weight between a 150 Newton and a 275 Newton lifejacket in its undeployed state?
Answer: Less than 30 grams, which is very little. The common perception is that a 275 Newton lifejacket is a lot heavier and more cumbersome than a 150 Newton, but this is not the case.

Check out JBS Group Online shop for more products or call us on 00353 47 76500

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