Water and Electricity Don’t Mix
Enjoying time with family and friends around a home pool or hot tub is one of the great pleasures of summer. However, as with all electric powered appliances, there are risks you need to be aware of. Electric shock drowning (ESD) severely injures and kills people every year. ESD occurs when faulty wiring sends electric current into water, which passes through the body and causes paralysis, which could ultimately result in drowning. As little as 10 milliamps, 1/50th the amount used by a 60 watt light bulb
By following these safety precautions recommened by the Electronic Safety Foundation International ESFI you can ensure your outdoor water activities are safe and enjoyable.
- All pool, spa and hot tub wiring repairs should be performed by a licensed electrician.
- Have a licensed electrician inspect your pool, spa, or hot tub annually.
- Install GFCIs, which can prevent electrocution, on all receptacles within 20 feet of water’s edge.
What is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)?
These outlets or circuit breakers prevent shock and electrocutions by quickly shutting off power to the circuit if the electricity flowing into the circuit differs by even a slight amount from that returning.
- Locate and label all power switches to pool, hot tub, and spa equipment and lighting.
- Know where your main breaker is located so that you can respond quickly in case of an emergency.
- Ensure that all pools hot tubs and spas are a minimum of 25 feet from power lines.
- Never use regular household cords near water. Use only outdoor approved extension cords and plug them in to a GFCI outlet.
If You See Electric Shock Drowning
- Do not enter the water! There is no visible warning that water is electrified.
- Turn off the power source.
- Call 911.
- Use an insulated device (such as fiberglass rescue crook) to attempt to remove victim from water.