Prevent Pool Electrocution (cont.)
CPSC's Safety Tips For Preventing Electrocutions In and Around the Pool
- Know where all the electrical switches and circuit
breakers for pool equipment and lights are located and how to turn them off in
- Refrain from swimming before, during, or after
- Have an electrician who is qualified in pool and spa
repairs inspect and upgrade your pool, spa or hot tub in accordance with
applicable local codes and the National Electrical Code (NEC).
- Ensure that all electrical wires and junction boxes
are at least five feet away from water, as required by the NEC.
- Protect swimmers from injury by following the NEC requirements for
- on underwater lighting circuits operating at
120-volts (CPSC recommends GFCIs for circuits that are 15 volts or greater);
- on pumps and electrical equipment used with pools,
spas and hot tubs, including heaters close to the pool and operated on 240
- on electrical circuits around pools, spas, and hot tubs; on all
outdoor receptacles and receptacles within 20 feet of the water's edge
to protect people from injury.
- Test GFCIs monthly to assure continued protection. Infrequently used and
portable or cord-connected GFCIs should be tested before each day's use. To
test a GFCI:
- Plug a nightlight into the outlet and turn the
- Press the "TEST" button. Did the light go out? If
not, replace the GFCI or have it inspected by an electrician.
- Press the "RESET" button. Did the light come back
on? If not, replace the GFCI.
- Wear shoes while conducting the test, especially if outdoors or
standing on wet ground.
- Use battery-operated appliances instead of
cord-connected appliances in and around a pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Post an emergency plan within clear view of those
using the pool.
- Ensure that overhead power lines and junction boxes are safely positioned
when installing a new pool, hot tub or spa.
In Case of Emergency
- Turn off all power.
- Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Using a fiberglass Shepherd's crook/rescue hook, extend your reach to the
- Brace yourself on the pool deck;
- Extend the Shepherd's crook/rescue hook toward the
- If the victim cannot grasp the Shepherd's crook/rescue hook, use the
loop to encircle the victim's body and pull him or her, face-up, to
- Carefully remove the victim from the water;
- Position the victim on his or her back;
- Tilt the victim's head and lift the chin to open the airway;
- Check the victim for breathing and, if the victim
isn't breathing, give two rescue breaths;
- Check the victim for signs of circulation (normal breathing, coughing, or
movement in response to rescue breaths) and
- If there are no signs of circulation, begin CPR;
- If there are signs of circulation, begin rescue breathing
Source: Consumer Products
Safety Commission, Press Release# 03-125, May 20, 2003
Last Editorial Review: 5/21/2003