There are a number of factors that can influence the service life cycle of body armor. NIJ has sponsored research that indicates that age is not the only factor in determining the service life of armor. Other factors to consider include: how regularly the armor was worn; how it was cared for; does the armor fit the wearer properly (most people lose or gain weight over a period of years); and the overall condition of the armor (do the fasteners still work properly, and so on). We encourage departments to have a routine inspection program for body armor, just as they would for weapons, vehicles, and other types of issued equipment. The Selection and Application Guide to Personal Body Armor contains a sample form which can be used as a checklist when inspecting armor.
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