- Compression: The life jacket may be compressed from many years of stowage.
- Loss of resiliency: The life jacket is excessively hard, stiff or its foam is brittle. Normally after compressing the life jacket to about half its initial thickness, the foam should expand to its original dimension in a short period of time.
- Shrinkage: A physical reduction in size may be indicated by "wrinkling" of the coating on vinyl dipped type or by a loose fitting shell on a fabric-covered life jacket.
- Manufacturer: While the potential for problems applies to all older PFDs, those manufactured by "The Safeguard Corporation" should be closely examined.