The following test and check procedure must be carried out on a monthly basis taking especial care that the EPIRB is disarmed (switched to OFF or SAFE) before removing from its HRU:
  1. Visually inspect the EPIRB and its mountings for cracks.
  2. Regular cleaning of the EPIRB and its mounting is recommended.
  3. Check that sea switches are clean.
  4. Check to ensure the lanyard is neatly bundled and firmly secured to the EPIRB and not attached to any part of the vessel.
  5. Check that the battery expiry label shows sufficient battery life to cover the next routine voyage.
  6. If you have automatically activated EPIRB check the HRU expiry date and confirm the enclosure cover can be easily removed.
  7. Perform standard self test. The EPIRB has a built-in test capability that can be used as a confidence check. This self-test confirms that the battery is healthy, that the GPS receiver (if included) and both distress transmitters are functional and that the strobe light is operational. It should be performed during the first 5 minutes of the hour, to minimise disturbance on the emergency channel. To run test sequence, TEST button should be pressed. At the end of the test sequence the EPIRB should give appropriate sound and light warning that depends of self test result (sound and light warnings depends of the EPIRB model).
EPIRBs with built-in GPS receiver are also capable of checking the correct operation of GPS receiver. That is called the GPS operational test. This test consumes significant reserve capacity of the EPIRB battery, consequently it can only be performed a fixed number of times. It is recommended that this test is performed only when batteries are changed or if the performance of the GPS receiver is suspect. This test could be usually run with TEST button that should be pressed longer (depends of the EPIRB model). This test usually takes 15 minutes to complete and test result is represented by sound and light warning.


If the EPIRB fails any of its monthly checks, it must be returned to the supplier or an authorised service agent.

If the battery is beyond its expiry date, the EPIRB must be returned to an authorised service agent for a battery change. It can be changed on board if its expiry date is due imminently or has passed.

If the EPIRB has been used in an emergency, it must be returned to an authorised service agent for a battery change.

If the HRU is beyond its expiry date, the HRU must be replaced by yourself and HRU must be marked with an expiry date 2 years into the future.

Last modified: Saturday, 25 April 2020, 7:50 PM