Guide to Swimming Pool Electrical Safety
Swimming pool electrical safety is something that needs to be considered at the start of each season. This is true of residential and public pools. Maintenance should include checking for loose wires and making sure all electrical sources are grounded. Every year, many people die or are seriously injured because electrical sources are not wired, bonded or grounded properly. Let’s explore why electrocution occurs and how to prevent it. We’ll also review the steps to take if someone is electrocuted.
Why Does Electrocution Happen?
Electric shock drowning occurs when current seeps into the swimming pool or hot tub water. The water conducts the electric charge, and a swimmer or bather will receive a shock. In many cases, the shock paralyzes the diaphragm, causing suffocation and subsequent drowning. The smaller the swimmer, the more risk they will drown. To ensure swimming pool electrical safety, certain measures can eliminate the reasons this happens.
What Causes Electrocution in a Swimming Pool?
For the most part, the grounding, wiring or bonding needed to keep the pool safe is not up to standard. In some cases of poor swimming pool electrical safety, the system is old and is not updated. The electric code calls for grounding all metal parts within five feet of the electrical source. This includes the diving board, ladders, the water, and the fence. In addition, bonding the parts to each other prevents electrical current from entering the water. Wiring often ages and frays, allowing current to seep out. An electrician should check the wiring regularly. Lights within the pool should not blink. If you see that happening, get everyone out, and shut down the pool until repairs are made to ensure swimming pool electrical safety.
Symptoms of Electric Shock
Initially, the electricity will render a person unable to move or cause them to feel a tingling sensation. They may experience muscle cramps also. An observer may see the person motionless in the water or flailing about. It is important not to enter the water to rescue the individual. This will result in electric shock or burns. It is necessary to turn off the power before attempting to get the person out of the water.
Install a GFCI for Added Safety
Take the following steps to ensure swimming pool electrical safety to avoid serious injuries:
- Hire a certified electrician to install a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which trips the circuit and shuts off the electricity.
- If a light source is 15 volts or more, make sure a GFCI is installed.
- A GFCI is needed when the pool is 20 feet or less away from an electrical source.
- If the GFCI is installed, make sure to do frequent checks.
What to Do When Someone Is Shocked in a Pool
It is important to know what should be done if someone experiences an electric shock. Here are some tips:
- Know where the circuit breakers are.
- Don’t jump in the water.
- Use a lifesaver or a non-conducting rod to get the person out of the pool. A shepherd’s hook is made specifically for this purpose. This pole extends the rescuer’s reach. When the person is unable to grab onto the hook, use the loop portion to drag the person to safety. Keep them face up when doing this.
- Call 911.
- Once the person is out of the water, place them on their back.
- Check them for signs of breathing. Tilt their head back to open the airway.
- Do CPR until emergency personnel arrive if necessary.
Negligence in a Swimming Pool Accident
Despite taking precautions, an electrocution event might occur. If you hired an electrician to check the pool for electricity dangers, it might be that their work was shoddy. When hiring an electrician, it is important to make sure they are certified. If this happens at a friend’s pool, then the owner may be guilty of failing to ensure the pool’s safety. In such instances, a liability case can be made against the homeowner.
Public Pools and Liability
Public and hotel pools and apartment buildings are under the same mandate to maintain electrical safety standards. The owner or responsible party must take steps to ensure that the pool does not have electrical hazards or dangerous pool filters. Your attorney can review logbooks to see when the last inspection was done. If the record shows that the pool was not inspected, a lawsuit can be filed against the owner.
Roseville Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Roseville personal injury lawyer. Keeping swimming pools safe is an important way of protecting those who enter. If appropriate measures are not taken, an injured party or their family has the right to file a claim. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. Reach me online if this is more convenient for you.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Forum. This is a group of lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client. I also belong to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. This organization picks only the top one percent of attorneys who promote legal excellence in their practice as members.
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