Electrical safety in the summer: Avoid all risks near water
Summer is winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors. For many of us, outdoor fun in the summertime means splashing around at a nearby pool or relaxing by a stream with a fishing pole in hand.
Water and electricity can be a deadly combination. At PPL Electric Utilities, we always think about safety first.
Here are a few tips to stay safe from electrical risks as you enjoy the water this summer.
Swimming is a great way to cool down, but it carries dangers beyond drowning. Pools, hot tubs and spas can all be sources of electrical risks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), these hazards can come from several sources, including faulty underwater lighting; aging, uninspected (or at least not in years) electrical wiring; the use of sump pumps, power washers and vacuums that are not grounded; and, electrical appliances or extension cords that inadvertently end up in the water.
How can you keep your family safe? Ensuring that you have Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCIs) installed for all lighting, circuits and receptacles near water is a good first step. You also need to be aware of any sources of electricity near water. The CPSC has some good advice: “The best protection for families is inspection, detection and correction of electrical hazards in and around the swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.”
Fishing is another popular summertime activity that also carries some electrical risk. Because fishing rods and poles are made from metal, carbon fibers or similar conductive materials, contact with overhead power lines is a possibility.
If your fishing pole touches a power line, it can cause electric shocks, severe burns and even death. To stay safe, always “look before you hook.”
Be aware of your surroundings and don’t get too close to overhead power lines when you’re fishing, or when you’re carrying your pole to or from a fishing spot.
Another safety tip is to make sure you unpack, set up and put away your equipment at the water’s edge, not in the water itself.
For more information on electrical safety, visit the websites of the CPSC or the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).
You can also check out our PPL Electric Utilities website at www.pplelectric.com.
We’re always sharing valuable tips about electrical safety, energy efficiency and much more.
Stay safe and enjoy the rest of the summer!
Tracie Witter is regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities.