How to Prevent Swimming Pool Electrocutions
Incidents of pool electrocution are on the rise and can occur anywhere from in the water to metal within five feet of the area, including ladders and handrails. In most cases, the electrocution occurs because of faulty bonding, wiring, grounding, or a combination of those areas. Pool electrocution accidents not only happen in swimming pools but can occur in spas or hot tubs. Safety measures to prevent such accidents are important to safeguard the lives of your loved ones and visitors.
Seeking Help After a Pool Electrocution
A lawyer experienced in swimming pool accidents can be of invaluable assistance if you lost a loved one following an electrocution. Most of these types of accidents are caused by a fault in the wiring around the pool area. They can also occur because many swimming pool installation companies do not put in bonding as an added safety measure, putting them at fault for the injury. Our investigative team can detect where the problem occurred. We can also determine if defects in the wiring caused the problem. This can help establish negligence whether the accident happened in a public or private pool.
Accumulating evidence is necessary to the case, but information at the accident scene can disappear. In addition, evidence can be covered up, which can help the negligent party from evading responsibility for their actions. This makes time of the essence. We quickly send investigators out to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and collect other information that is available. By building a strong case, whether dealing with the insurance company on your behalf or presenting the evidence in civil court, we are at your side all the way.
How Can Pools Shock You?
If a pool is not correctly bonded, you or your loved ones or friends can experience an electrical shock or be electrocuted in the worst-case scenario. Getting in the water doesn’t present the only danger of pool electrocution. Anything metal around the pool can be the culprit, including handrails, diving board, and coping.
Preventing Swimming Pool Shocks
Equalizing the electrical potential of all the pool elements within 5 feet of the edge of the water is important to avoid these risks. This is done by connecting all the electrical elements around a pool together, so the voltage will be the same throughout the system. Bonding lugs and copper wire are used to connect all the pool components containing metal or have the ability to conduct electricity. The National Fire Protection Association offers helpful information on their website on codes and standards that apply to swimming pools and other outdoor/indoor water equipment.
Ways to Make Your Pool Safer
Although many homeowners use a service to take care of any pool problems, it doesn’t hurt to know what needs to be done to keep it safe. This way, the homeowner knows the right questions to ask to ensure that everything possible had been done and the electrical system for the pool is in good condition.
- Have the electrical system on your pool inspected on a regular basis, especially if it is older. Install a ground-fault circuit interrupter. A GFCI works this way. It shuts down the electrical circuit if a current is detected going along a path that is unintended such as a person or through water. A GFCI is capable of detecting 4 to 5 milliamps, which is a tiny amount and takes as little as 1/30th of a second to shut the system down.
- Switch to lower voltage pool lights. Many pools are equipped with underwater lights that carry 12 to 120 volts and run through the transformer. The GFCI circuit breaker and box for the junction of the pool lights work in conjunction and can push up the voltage. Safer options for underwater pool lighting include LED lights, which use much less voltage. Using LED lights can also increase performance and lower electrical costs. Remember to use a licensed electrician to work on pool lighting. This is not a do-it-yourself job.
- Don’t allow extension cords or electrical devices closer than 10 feet from the pool’s edge.
What Is Included in an Electrical Pool Inspection?
Homeowners may think that they are qualified to inspect their own swimming pools, spas, and hot tubs to ensure that they are being operated safely. However, an electrical inspection can be more complicated than it looks. This is why it is a good idea to have it checked by a professional. Following are some of the areas that are checked during an electrical inspection:
- Checking that pumps and motors are working correctly
- Ensuring that the heater works, and no shorts are present in the system
- Checking the wiring on the timer that it is in good repair
- Ensuring that all the wiring is grounded properly
- Looking for condensation that may have formed near the light fixtures
- Checking the circuits and ground fault circuit interrupter to ensure they are operating correctly
- Performing a checklist to ensure that the electrical codes and safety concerns have been followed
Sacramento Swimming Pool Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento swimming pool accident lawyer. If you or your loved one was injured in a pool, hot tub, or spa due to negligence, I have free and friendly advice to offer you. Contact me at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 if you are calling from elsewhere. There is also an online contact form, which some prefer, at my website, AutoAccident.com.
I am honored to have worked as a personal injury lawyer since 1982, helping those injured through negligence obtain fair compensation. In addition to swimming pool injuries, some of the areas I work in include traumatic injuries, wrongful deaths, and all types of motor vehicle crashes.
I belong to a number of organizations, and two of them I am most proud of are Million Dollar Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. Million Dollar Forum reserves membership for attorneys who have won in excess of one million dollars for a previous client. The National Association of Distinguished Counsel allows membership from fewer than 1 percent of the lawyers around the nation who demonstrate the highest degree of excellence in their practices.
Doing a little investigating of a law practice before calling for advice is a good idea. For this reason, I include the following links to comments/reviews made by my clients and information on cases that my firm has handled in the past at:
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