Boating equipment expiry

an assortment of boating safety equipment

Certain pieces of boating safety equipment carry an expiry date. These expiry dates are important in helping to ensure the equipment remains fully functional and will work as expected, when needed.

Items of safety equipment that carry an expiry date include fire extinguishers, flares, EPIRBs and inflatable lifejackets.

Skippers are encouraged to check the expiry date on their safety equipment before heading out on the water. Finding yourself in a dangerous or life-threatening situation is not the time to find out your old equipment is no longer functional.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be inspected at least every six months to check the pressure or, for carbon dioxide extinguishers, the weight, and recharged if necessary.


Flares must be within the expiry date and should be checked for signs of exposure to moisture, such as mildew or bubbling paper coatings.


EPIRBs are battery operated and will only function if the batteries are in good condition. EPIRBs with expired batteries are deemed non-compliant and will need to be replaced.

The Department of Transport offers tips to boaters for keeping track of expiry dates, such as putting the dates in your calendar or mobile phone, and writing them on their Don’t Expire sticker, which they can send out to you.

In addition to staying on top of your equipment expiry dates, skippers should also ensure that passengers know where the items are stored, how to use them and when to use them.

Remember, properly functioning safety equipment can save your life and the lives of your passengers in an emergency.



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