Electric shock in the water is a danger that you can’t hear or see. Electrical dangers in and around the pool can result in electric shock and in extreme cases, death. When setting up electric equipment around the pool area, there are a few simple rules of thumb to follow to avoid any danger.
1. Keep electrical equipment away from the pool
Water and electricity simply do not mix, so take extreme care if you need to have electrical equipment set up in the pool area. If equipment that is not designed to operate in water such as portables televisions or radios falls or slides into the pool, that equipment puts a current of electricity into the pool. Once that body of water becomes energised, touching a metal pool ladder or metal net handle can cause a person to be electrocuted.
Electrical equipment for the pool also poses the danger of electrocution. If the wires are fraying or damaged they could put an electric current through the water that is harmful to people in and around the pool.
While you may still like to or need to have electrical equipment in the pool area, there are some useful tips to make sure that their presence doesn’t cause danger. A general rule of thumb is to have at least 2 metres between the electrical equipment and the edge of the pool.
Underwater lights in the pool are aesthetically and functionally pleasing. However, should they crack or are defectively sealed, the voltage from the light bulb comes into direct contact with the water, putting electrical energy throughout the body of the water. There is also the possibility that the wiring for the pool lights can wear and pose a danger as well.
Damaged pool lights or faulty wiring are hazardous electrical accidents waiting to happen. When not properly installed or ill-functioning, it is no longer safe for use around the water and poses the threat of energising the water, effectively making the body of water a pool of electric currents.
To minimise the danger of the wiring and damage to the bulbs of the pool lights, it’s best to conduct regular checks for defects and to familiarise oneself with the wiring system in terms of how long since installation and if the wiring is up to code. If there was to be an issue with the lights or the wiring, then regular checks would catch the danger before it became fatal.
3. Don’t use extension cords in the pool area
Never use extension leads, electrical appliances and cords near the pool. It would only take a vigorous splash from inside the pool or someone dripping onto the cord to possibly present an electrical danger. Water coming into contact with an extension cord renders it faulty and it only takes a small piece of damage to cause an electric current.
Where possible, use battery-operated appliances and equipment instead of objects that require a cord to be plugged in. Minimising and even eliminating the use of cords around the pool area will reduce the risk of accidents occurring that could damage the electrical cord with serious consequences.
If you are concerned or think you need an electrician to check your electrical safety? Give us a call (07) 49271144.
4. Lightning storms - get out of the pool
You should never use the pool during a storm. While the chances may seem slim, if lightning were to strike in the water, it produces an electric current just as serious as if the wiring were faulty or an electric cord had been dropped into the water. If the lightning didn’t strike the water, but instead the equipment that keeps the pool wired and running, the risk would be just the same.
While swimming in a storm may seem like a fun idea, the safest option is to get out of the water and eliminate the danger of electrocution.
Educating your children on pool safety
Kids may enjoy swimming in the pool with the radio blaring on the television set to show their favorite program. However, if they are using appliances that need cords to operate, or, if by accident, the device falls into the water, there is the risk of electrocution.
While the goal is not to eliminate fun from the pool area, it is important to educate children about the safest practices to have fun. For instance, using a battery-operated appliance and keeping it a safe distance away from the pool is the safest practice to be around the water and still have fun.
If an accident were to occur, it is also important to inform children how impending electrocution feels to the body. Warning signs often include tingling, inability to move and cramps. If any of these signs are present, try swimming in another direction that doesn’t tingle and exit the pool as quickly as possible avoiding metal objects such as pool ladders and rails.
Making sure your pool has no electrical dangers doesn’t mean eliminating the fun from swimming. It means being educated and vigilant towards the warning signs and being prepared if something were to go wrong. Above all, make sure that the pool and its equipment have been installed by a professional who knows all the rules and regulations regarding pool safety.
In addition to the electrical safety of your pool, when was the last time you conducted a home energy and electrical safety Audit?