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Purchasing, using, and maintaining life-saving flotation devices

For immediate release: August 23, 2018 - 1:01pm

Each year, water enthusiasts head out to the many lakes and rivers across the country to indulge in water sports and activities. This can be an excellent way to spend some time enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, but only when done safely and responsibly. The Saskatoon Fire Department would like to emphasize the importance of having and maintaining the proper flotation equipment so that it is ready to use.

Lifejackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are an integral element of staying safe when in or around larger bodies of water. Slight variations between the function and purpose of lifejackets and PFDs exist; however, both act as a life-saving flotation device.

Start by selecting the appropriate flotation device for your desired purpose. Be sure that the flotation device is Transport Canada approved, and that it is the proper fit relative to your weight and body type.

Remember that if the activity you are participating in involves a human- or motor-powered watercraft, you are required by law to have a Transport Canada approved lifejacket or PFD for each person on board the craft.

Never use your flotation device for purposes that it was not intended for; this could cause damage and wear that will affect the functionality of the flotation device. If the flotation device is expired, altered, ripped, or otherwise misshapen, it is no longer effective and must be replaced.

When finished with your flotation device, make sure it is stored properly in a dry and airy location. If the flotation device is wet, allow ample time for drying, keeping in mind that it should be out of direct sunlight and never be dried using a direct source of heat, such as radiators or dryers.

Always exercise safe practices when in or around larger bodies of water. Wear your Transport Canada approved lifejacket or PFD. 

In an emergency, call 911 immediately.