As summer begins, families across the country will retreat to their backyards and community swimming pools to have fun and cool off. Swimmers need to know that drowning is not the only danger when it comes to swimming pools. When a body of water becomes charged with electricity, swimmers are at risk of serious injury and even death.
Swimmers can, at the very least, experience electric shock. In more severe cases, electric shock can lead to drowning, and thus be fatal.
Learn to recognize the signs that the water has been electrically charged, and how to prevent electrocution in the lake or swimming pool.
The risk of electric charged water exists wherever an electrical device is close enough to fall or be pulled into the water. When an electrical component near the water is faulty or damaged, electricity can enter the water, creating an invisible and potentially fatal electric current.
When the human body comes in contact with energized water, they can suffer symptoms ranging from tingling to paralysis and cardiac arrest. The risk to swimmers really depends upon the level of the current in the water.
The physical signs a swimmer may experience, telling them that water may be electrically charged, include:
When electric shock causes the inability to move, swimmers are unable to help themselves and are at risk of drowning. The American Red Cross recommends keeping a fiberglass rescue hook near your swimming pool to rescue swimmers. In many cases, swimmers may not immediately feel an electric current when they enter the water. Electricity can often be intermittent, occurring as an electrical device cycles on and off.
There are several ways to prevent swimming pool electric shock and electrocution. The first step is to have a certified electrician install, maintain, and repair any electric components in and around your swimming pool.
Once installed, inspect all electric devices, including pool lights and pumps, on a routine basis for wear and tear, frayed wires, or any signs of damage that may cause electricity to come in contact with water.
Your certified electrician will install Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), special safety devices installed directly on your outlets that shut off electricity anytime a change in current is detected in water.
If you do see damage to electric devices, assume there may be an electrical current in the water, and stay out of the pool until you call an electrician.
Summer is a time for fun, relaxation, and outdoor adventures. The risk of injuries caused by a swimming pool accident, slip and fall, or motor vehicle crash is an unfortunate reality. If you or a family member has been injured in a preventable accident caused by a negligent property owner or defective product, the Wilmington personal injury lawyers of Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. are here to help.
Contact us online or call 302-656-5445 to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are located in Wilmington and Georgetown, and our attorneys serve clients throughout Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.