Pool Safety: How to Avoid Electric Shock in Water

It’s almost time to kick off the summer fun season. We are coming up on the Memorial Day weekend, and that means lots of water fun. Alabama families will be enjoying swimming pools and lakes. Your friends at Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air want to make sure you do it safely.

Electricity and Water Safety

This is something you MUST be aware of: Whenever there is electricity near the water there is potential for danger. Pool and water safety is absolutely critical to protect yourself and your loved ones. The threat is very real.

Electric Shock Drowning (ESD)

This needs to be at the top of the list of concerns. It usually happens near docks or marinas with electrical service, but it can also happen in your backyard pool. It’s referred to as a silent killer because there are no warning signs when water is energized with electricity.

Electrocution is often incorrect

ESD is also referred to as boat dock electrocution, but many times the victim is not electrocuted. Instead, he or she is paralyzed by the current and drowns. Even after an autopsy, many deaths are called unexplained drownings blamed on cramps or alcohol use because the electricity leaves no evidence.

Circuit breaker problems

Any electrical circuit near water, a pool or boat dock, should be protected with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) device. Too often, however, the GFCI device is not working correctly. They require maintenance and periodic replacement. It’s why a licensed electrician should inspect your pool or boat dock circuits at least once a year and two inspections are preferable.
The Centers for Disease Control says about 3,000 people drown every year. There’s no way of knowing how many are cases of ESD. A non-profit group is dedicated to preventing the tragedy and the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association (ESDPA) has a website to educate and prevent ESD. If you are going to go into the water, follow these safety tips:

  • Swim at least 50 yards from any electrical source
  • If you feel tingling swim away, do not go towards the dock or boat
  • Warn others in the area
  • Get out of the water at the first sign if you are able to
  • Shut off power

Please make sure your summer water fun is safe. Call Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air to schedule an electrical inspection. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more safety information throughout the year.