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Electrical Safety Risks That Lurk Around Swimming Pools

Teen using cell phone at the pool | Eureka Fire Protection District | Eureka, Missouri

The dog days of summer are here! Cruise by any subdivision pool or aquatic recreational center this time of year, and you'll see happy families splish-splashing in water as blue as the sky and as clear as crystal. Hanging out poolside is great fun; however, swimmers and sunbathers should be aware of electrical hazards that can pose a serious safety risk.

What are electrical hazards around the pool?

Pool pump electricity hazards | Eureka Fire Protection District | Eureka Missouri

Most people understand that water and electricity don't mix, without realizing that even a relatively small amount of electricity can cause paralysis and lead to drowning. Common sources of electricity near pools, hot tubs, and spas include:

  • Radios, TVs, Stereos, Laptops

  • Extension Cords

  • Power Cords

  • Electrical Lighting

  • Pool Lighting (located underwater)

  • Power Lines

  • Pool equipment requiring electricity (vacuums, pumps, and filters)

How can I increase electrical safety around the pool?

Woman typing on laptop by the pool | Eureka Fire Protection District | Eureka, MO

Knowing what electrical hazards pose a risk around the pool and how to avoid them is vital to keeping loved ones safe around the water. Pay attention to these helpful electrical safety tips from the National Fire Protection District to prevent life-threatening accidents at the pool.

Tips for Swimmers

  • Stay away from the pool if you see flickering lights or hear any strain on filters.

  • If tingling occurs, immediately stop swimming in your current direction. Turn and swim back to where you were not experiencing tingling.

  • Do not swim before, during, or after thunderstorms.

  • Avoid handling electrical devices while you are wet.

Tips for Pool Owners

  • Have a qualified electrician periodically inspect and - where necessary - replace or upgrade the electrical devices or equipment that keep your pool electrically safe. Have them show you how to turn off all power in an emergency.

  • Ensure that overhead lines maintain the proper distance over a pool and other structures, such as a diving board.

  • Keep electrical appliances, equipment, and cords at least 6 feet away from the water. When possible, use battery-operated devices.

  • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter.

What to do if someone gets shocked in a pool?

Pool Deck Safety Markings |Eureka Fire Protection District | Eureka, MO

  • Move away from the source of the shock.

  • Get out of the water. Don't use a metal ladder as it is an electrical conductor and may intensify the shock.

  • Immediately turn off all power to prevent EMS rescuers from becoming victims.

  • Call 911.

  • Use a rescue hook (shepherd's crook) to pull the victim out of the water carefully.

  • Position the victim on their back, check for breathing and administer CPR if needed.

A dip in the pool is a delightful way to cool off during the summer months, but as with other fun water activities, certain dangers lurk. The Eureka Fire Protection District reminds all families to think about electrical safety hazards around the pool and how to avoid them.


About the Author:

Eureka Fire Protection District is an EMS, Fire, and Rescue service provider located in Eureka, Missouri. Staffed with nearly one hundred volunteer and career Paramedics, EMTs, Firefighters, Junior Firefighters, and administrative teams, the department provides its local community with fire prevention, education, safety resources, and emergency relief. Eureka Fire Protection District maintains a reputation as a well-run, high-performing fire department by keeping up to date with the latest in life-saving training and technology.

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