Splashing into Summer Safety

During the summer when you may be enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming, it is important to keep in mind that dangers are present whenever water can potentially come in contact with electricity. Review the following tips to avoid hazards and potentially serious injuries:

  • Keep cords and electrical devices away from pools.
  • Never handle electrical items when you are wet.
  • Don’t allow power cord connections to become wet.
  • Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install and are available at prices ranging from $12 to $30.
  • Use outlet covers on outdoor receptacles near swimming pools.
  • Electrical devices such as circuit breakers, fuses, GFCIs, receptacles, plugs and switches can malfunction when water and residue get inside. Replace those that have been submerged.
  • Indoor outlets or electrical cords that have become immersed due to flooding may energize water, a potential deadly condition.
  • If a switch or an appliance has become wet or submerged, have an electrician check the house wiring and the appliance to make sure it is safe to use before flipping a switch or plugging in an appliance.
  • When using a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, or a pressure washer, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid electric shock.
  • Boating is another seasonal activity. Sailboats often have masts of 30 feet or more, which are dangerous when they come into contact with overhead power lines. Stay at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines to help prevent lethal electrical hazards.

Electrical safety awareness near water can help keep summer outdoor activities from becoming disasters for everyone.