Christmas is nearly upon us, and that means parties and festive lights. This is great news, but it is crucial not to forget about electric shock and lighting safety. This is especially true near the water, so electrocution is a serious threat.
Staying Alive: Electric Shock and Lighting SafetyWe’ve written about electric shock and lighting safety before. To review, electric shock is when an electric current passes through your body. For now, let’s dive in with more detail. After all, Holiday decorations are a major highlight this time of year, but it is always important to keep safety top of mind.
Indoor or Outdoor Lights?If you’ll be stringing up lights outdoors, be sure to keep them away from the water. Even though they are small, they can still pack a serious electric current. Believe it or not, stepping into a puddle with exposed wiring nearby can be fatal. When it comes to choosing outdoor lights, make sure they are appropriate for the environment. The box will usually indicate if your lights are designed for outdoor or indoor use. Indoor lights may not be properly sealed and protected against the elements. Moisture, rain and snow can play havoc with the wrong lights. Besides possible electrocution, damaged lights can also be a fire hazard.
Exposed Wiring and SwimmingSpeaking of electric shock and lighting safety, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about swimming. Sure, many of our pools are closed by December. That said, if you live in a warmer climate or have an indoor pool, there could be swimming at your holiday party. That’s great news, and fun for all, but don’t forget that exposed wiring from lights could lead to electrical shock while you or your guests are swimming. To be safe, it is best to keep the lights away from the water. This includes power cables and loose surge protectors. Above all, be extra vigilant about keeping anything electric away from the water.
Underwater Lighting and Power Source DangerBeyond holiday decorations, lighting can come in multiple forms. For instance, don’t neglect your actual underwater pool lights. After all, electric shock and lighting safety is important any time of year. Always check these each and every season. Faulty wiring or exposed bulbs can become a dangerous hazard. Use quality lights and have a professional check out your setup before allowing anyone to enter the water. Keep an eye out for any electrical elements that could accidentally run a current through your water. If you’re going to be near or in the water, electrical shock is a serious danger. Besides faulty lights, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recommends keeping an eye out for these possible electrical hazards:
- Aging electrical wiring that hasn’t been inspected in years.
- Sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums that are not properly grounded.
- Electrical appliances that are at risk for falling into the water.