Electrical safety around swimming pools

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Everyone knows water and electricity don’t mix, but pool owners have a particular reason to be concerned.

In North Carolina, a 17-year-old lifeguard drowned in 2016 when a faulty grounding wire electrified a pool. The wiring had not been inspected for years.

Built-in pool lights, pumps and wiring are engineered to guard against electrification of water. But these elements always require inspection and maintenance.

Pool owners routinely have the local pool company replace and service pool lights, but it isn’t enough. Pool technicians might know how to work on electrical equipment but they are rarely certified electricians. Pool owners should hire a certified electrician to inspect the electrical systems on a routine basis, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Advanced Safety and Engineering Management.

An energized body of water can cause anything from tingling of the skin to paralysis, cardiac arrest and electrocution. The extent of injuries depends on the level of current going through the water.

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