Generally, electrical accidents involving a pool fit into one of two categories: risky behavior (such as using electronic or electrical devices near water) or dangerous or faulty equipment (malfunctioning or improperly installed, most often usually occurring with pool lights).
“Although not very common, as long as electrocution in the pool remains a possibility, it is important that you understand the warning signs and know what to do to prevent it from happening to you or someone you love”.
Can You Get Electrocuted In A Swimming Pool
It is common knowledge that water and electricity don’t mix, but you should know that you don’t have to be in the water or touch water to be electrocuted.
Holding a metal object or touching one of the pool ladders that are in electrified water can also cause serious injury or even death.
Electrical shocks in swimming pools are very rare, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prevent them.
Knowing the warning signs that a pool is electrified is incredibly important and can save lives. Feeling a tingling sensation, inability to move or muscle cramps are signs of impending electrocution.
For the above reasons, you should be wary of underwater lights that are not working properly. If the light is flickering or working intermittently, you should get out of the pool and get it repaired as soon as possible.
On the other hand, experts recommend keeping any electrical or electronic equipment at least three meters from the edge of the pool, and assure that it is important to have a plan in case someone is electrocuted.
The power to the pool should be turned off immediately, everyone should be removed calmly and quickly (making sure they don’t touch any metal fixtures) and an ambulance should be called.
How to Make Sure Your Pool Is Free of Electrical Hazards
Electrical shock in water is a hazard you can’t hear or see. Electrical hazards in and around the pool can lead to electric shock and, in extreme cases, death.
When installing electrical equipment around the pool area, follow some simple rules of thumb to avoid any hazards. Also, keep all of these tips in mind if you are building a new home.
4 Common Electrical Hazards for Swimming Pools
1. Keep electrical equipment away from the pool.
Water and electricity simply don’t mix, so be very careful if you need to have electrical equipment in the pool area.
If equipment that is not designed to operate in water, such as televisions or portable radios, falls or slips into the pool, that equipment puts an electrical current into the pool.
Once that body of water becomes energized, touching a metal pool ladder or metal netting handle can cause a person to be electrocuted.
Pool electrical equipment also poses the danger of electrocution. If the wires become frayed or damaged, they could put an electric current through the water that is harmful to people in and around the pool.
Even if you still like or need to have electrical equipment in the pool area, there are some helpful tips to make sure its presence does not cause danger.
A general rule of thumb is to have at least 2 meters between the electrical equipment and the edge of the pool.
To install and maintain wiring in the pool so you know it has been installed correctly.
2. Wiring the pool lights
Underwater pool lights are aesthetically pleasing and functional. However, if they are cracked or improperly sealed, the voltage from the bulb comes in direct contact with the water, putting electrical energy throughout the body of water.
There is also the possibility of pool light wiring wearing out and also posing a hazard.
Damaged pool lights or faulty wiring are dangerous electrical accidents waiting to happen.
When improperly installed or malfunctioning, it is no longer safe to use around water and poses the threat of energizing the water, causing the body of water to become a pool of electrical currents.
To minimize the danger of wiring and damage to pool light bulbs, it is best to perform periodic checks for defects and familiarize yourself with the wiring system as to how long the installation lasts and whether the wiring conforms to regulations.
If there was a problem with the lights or wiring, then regular checks would detect the hazard before it became fatal.
3. Do not use extension cords in the pool area.
Never use extension cords, appliances, or cables near the pool. It only takes a strong splash from inside the pool or someone dripping on the cord to possibly present an electrical hazard.
Water coming in contact with an extension cord makes it faulty and it only takes a small piece of damage to cause an electrical current.
Whenever possible, use battery-operated appliances and equipment instead of objects that require the connection of a cord.
Minimizing or even eliminating the use of cords around the pool area will reduce the risk of accidents occurring that can damage the electrical cord with serious consequences.
4. Electrical Storms
You should never use the pool during a thunderstorm. Although the changes may seem slim, if lightning strikes the water, it produces an electrical current just as severe as if the wiring were faulty or a power line had fallen into the water.
If the lightning struck not the water, but the equipment that keeps the pool plugged in and running, the risk would be 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.
In the event that the storm has already caused damage to follow these tips.
Children may enjoy swimming in the pool with the radio playing on the television to show their favorite show.
However, if they are using devices that need wires to operate or if by accident, the device falls into the water, there is a risk of electrocution.
While the goal is not to eliminate fun from the pool area, it is important to educate children about safer practices for having fun.
For example, using a battery-operated device and keeping it a safe distance from the pool is the safest practice for staying close to the water and still having fun.
Should an accident occur, it is also important to let children know what impending electrocution feels like on the body.
Warning signs often include constipation, inability to move, and cramps. If any of these signs are present, try swimming in another direction that does not produce tingling and get out of the pool as soon as possible by avoiding metal objects such as ladders and pool rails.
Making sure your pool is free of electrical hazards doesn’t mean taking the fun out of swimming. It means being polite and attentive to warning signs and being prepared if something should go wrong.
Above all, make sure the pool and its equipment have been installed by a professional who knows all the rules and regulations regarding pool safety.