LOS ANGELES – Faulty pool lighting and bad wiring are the greatest threats this Fourth of July, but can easily be eliminated by inspections and maintenance, according to officials at Southern California Edison.
“Swimming pool, hot tub and spa electrical accidents are easily prevented,” said Andrew S. Martinez, vice president of Safety, Security & Business Resiliency for Southern California Edison.
“But pool owners must use licensed professionals and follow electrical codes to achieve that prevention,” Martinez added.
Since 2002, there have been at least 21 electrocutions in swimming pools, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
“Annual inspections are the best way to avoid these dangers,” said Martinez. “They should only be done by licensed electricians or pool contractors who will not only make sure your pool system is properly grounded, but also inspect your lighting, wiring connections and junction boxes to ensure they are properly and safely installed. They should never be done by pool owners or cleaning crews.”
Licensed professionals will also make upgrades to comply with applicable local codes and the National Electrical Code.
To further protect swimmers from shocks, working Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters should not only be used on all electrical equipment but also on all outlets within 20 feet of the water’s edge. Electrical cords should also be kept at least five feet away from pools, hot tubs and spas, with Martinez strongly encouraging the use of battery-operated appliances and devices instead of cord-connected ones.