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The NFD Encourages Residents to Take Precautions against Potential Electrical Hazards in Pools


Swimmers should also use caution when swimming in marinas or around watercraft.

Nashville, TN (June 12, 2018) – The summer is here and for many residents that mean staying cool at the pool: playing water games, swimming laps, or floating along at a relaxing pace. While time at the pool can be refreshing, The Nashville Fire Department wants to remind residents of the potential electrical hazards in swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.

“Here in Davidson County many of our residents don’t realize the dangers of electric shock drowning (ESD),” Public Information Officer Joseph Pleasant said. “It can occur when faulty wiring sends an electrical current into the water, which passes through the body and causes paralysis, and ultimately results in drowning.”

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are working together to provide safety resources, including a checklist that details common ESD causes and prevention methods.

The NFD, NFPA and ESFI are urging swimmers and pool owners to follow these safety tips.

Tips for swimmers:

  • While in a pool, hot tub or spa, look out for underwater lights that are not working properly, flicker or work intermittently.
  • If you feel a tingling sensation while in a pool, immediately stop swimming in your current direction. Try and swim in a direction where you had not felt the tingling. Exit the water as quickly as possible; avoid using metal ladders or rails. Touching metal may increase the risk of shock.

Tips for pool owners:

  • If you are putting in a new pool, hot tub or spa, be sure the wiring is performed by an electrician experienced in the special safety requirements for these types of installations.
  • Have a qualified electrician periodically inspect and — where necessary — replace or upgrade the electrical devices or equipment that keep your pool, spa or hot tub electrically safe. Have the electrician show you how to turn off all power in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure any overhead lines maintain the proper distance over a pool and other structures, such as a diving board. If you have any doubts, contact a qualified electrician or your local utility company to make sure power lines are a safe distance away.