Public Cautioned About Risks of Electric Shock Drowning

HYANNIS – As activities on the water increase in the summer months, the National Fire Protection Association cautioning swimmers and boaters about the risks of electric shock drowning.   

NFPA reports that people die each year from electric shock drowning (ESD).

ESD can happen when an electrical current is sent through the water from faulty wiring or electrical systems that weren’t set up well or haven’t been sufficiently maintained.

Once the current passes through someone, it can cause paralysis that may lead to drowning.

“Continued education about the presence of electrical hazards in water can help reduce the risk of electric shock drowning from happening in pools and waterways,” NFPA’s vice president of Outreach & Advocacy Lorraine Carli said.

Tips from the NFPA for swimmers include not swimming near marinas, docks, or boatyards. They should also be mindful of underwater lights in pools or hot tubs that are not working properly.

Swimmers should exit a pool if they feel a tingling sensation and try to not touch any metal when getting out of the water.  

For people who are planning to put in a new pool or hot tub, they should make sure any wiring work is performed by an electrician with experience in special safety requirements.

Current owners should have regular inspections of pools and hot tubs done by an electrician.

Safety tips for boat owners include refraining from entering the water when launching or loading a boat since stray electrical currents can be in those areas.

They should also have the boat’s electrical system inspected by a marine electrician and check with marina staff to ensure its electrical system has recently been inspected.

Click here for more NFPA electrical safety tips around water.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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