|Lake Fatalities Highlight Need for Electrical Safety|
For Release: July 1, 2013
Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815
Lake Fatalities Highlight Need for Electrical Safety
(Springfield, Ill.) -Last weekend’s accident involving a dockside electrocution at Lake Cumberland in Kentucky, along with swimming fatalities over the Fourth of July holiday last year, underscore the dangers when water and electricity mix. The common element in these unfortunate accidents was electrical current entering the water from boats or docks.
“Wet environments are particularly dangerous when it comes to electricity. It’s vital to ensure electrical connections on or near the water are properly installed with appropriate safety equipment,” explains Molly Hall, executive director of the Safe Electricity program. “Your loved ones’ lives just might depend on it.”
Docks with electrical installations should be properly maintained. Even so, it’s safest not to swim around docks with electrical power. Experts from the Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association (electricshockdrowning.org) say never swim in or near marinas, docks or boatyards. If you are in the water and start to feel a tingle, swim away from any apparent electrical source and get out of the water as soon as possible without touching any metal objects (such as ladders). For bystanders hearing of a swimmer experiencing a tingle, immediately turn off power to everything you can. Do not jump in to help. You could easily become a casualty yourself.
“Prevent deadly shocks. Check your boats and docks,” Hall adds. “If you have not checked your boats and docks yet this year, don’t wait. Take the time to do so now. ”
Safe Electricity in conjunction with the American Boat and Yacht Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers/National Electrical Contractors Association recommend that:
When it comes to your boat’s electrical system, particularly those with alternating current (AC) systems, follow these tips:
Also, when boating or fishing be aware of your surroundings and potential overhead electrical hazards. Ensure a distance of at least 10 feet between your boat and nearby power lines. Always lower masts of sail boats before using boat ramps.
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The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.