When Should You Service Your Aircraft Safety Equipment?

With various systems and parts comprising an aircraft that is safe and airworthy, it is important to keep up to date with all servicing and repairs necessary. Within aircraft maintenance, there is a subcategory of parts that requires specific care. Known as maintenance, repair, and overhaul, or MRO, equipment in this category includes all items used in operational processes that do not directly impact the working systems of the aircraft, like safety devices and personal protective equipment. This being said, these parts are equally important to maintain because the safety of the crew and passengers depends on intact equipment. Therefore, this blog will cover some guidelines for approaching the services which safety equipment needs in order to work effectively.

Within the category of MRO equipment, there are a few methods to ensure you keep up to date with service needs. One of these useful techniques is to verify any stamped or labeled dates, those of which may signify the date of manufacture, DOT ratings, serial numbers, or hydrostatic retests. The date of manufacture (DOM) may be used to determine if your product is reaching the end of its service life. These dates may be found in a number of places, such as on masks and fire extinguishers. Meanwhile, a DOT rating on these and other items indicate whether they are up to date with FAA safety standards.

When repairs are needed, serial numbers are useful tools for identifying specific items, similar to a human fingerprint. Experts may quickly identify a product and whether its warranty is up using this information. These may be found on fire extinguishers, oxygen systems, masks, and more.  Lastly, you may use a hydrostatic retest number as a means of ensuring all cylinders are qualified for use until a certain date. After hydrostatic re-testing, a cylinder is given a new lifespan, ranging from five to ten years.

In addition to all of these airline-specific techniques, pieces of safety equipment will also include expiration dates, similar to the labels on food that indicate expiration; however, these dates may be questionable. While most components should be replaced once they reach their expiration date, you may consult the OEM instructions to see if your part may last past this date. Survival equipment with expiration dates include inflatable assemblies, cylinders, survival kits, batteries, and cartridges, in addition to oxygen systems and fire extinguishers.

Another important deadline to keep in mind is your part’s cap time, that of which is the amount of time you have after an overhaul to complete leak verification for fire extinguishers and oxygen containers, ranging from 24 to 72 hours. Once you are ready to replace any parts, you will have the option of procuring PMA or OEM parts. OEM parts are original equipment components that come with your safety devices. Parts manufacturer approval are aftermarket parts replacement components made by FAA-authorized companies separate from the OEM. While there is often no difference between the parts, it is important you procure your PMA parts from a dependable, FAA-certified parts supplier.

With this in mind, make NSN Sphere your trusted supplier of all your aircraft safety equipment needs. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are proudly an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited enterprise with a strict No China Sourcing policy. As such, you can rest assured all of the orders you place through our database will be of the highest caliber and vetted for fit, function, and authenticity before shipping to you. To begin procuring any item that piques your interest, simply submit a Request for Quote form with as much detail as possible to receive a custom quote within 15 minutes or less. To learn more, contact us at any time via phone or email.


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