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A shocking pool can be hazardous

People often think about drowning, getting struck by lightning, and slipping and falling when it comes to pool injuries, but there’s actually a reoccurring issue that you might have forgotten about: shock. Several people, including children, have been zapped while innocently going for a swim. It’s not only uncomfortable when it happens, but can lead to serious injury and even death.

Hotel pool shocks guests
Pool shocking recently resurfaced in the media when multiple people experienced it during a swim at the Palms West Condominiums in Hialeah, Florida. As ABC News reported, a surveillance video from the facility shows a young girl and her father both getting shocked while in the water.

The female was the first one to get shocked and the video demonstrates her going limp after coming in contact with a metal rail in the pool, according to ABC. Then, her father jumped in to save her and also got shocked. Three children in total were injured and hospitalized as a result of the occurrence. Inspectors told ABC that these accidents happened because an improperly grounded pool pump electrified the water.

How does it happen?
These aren’t isolated incidents. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, electrocutions from swimming pools has been the cause of at least 14 deaths between 2003 and 2014. Shock can stem from a number of the swimming pool’s features, including: underwater lights, power lines, extension cords, electrical products and pool equipment – pumps, filters, vacuums.

Signs of shock
Keep your eyes and ears open to determine if a pool is safe to swim in or not. As the CSPC explained, someone in the water might be experiencing shock if he or she is motionless. You might also notice that something is off if lights or some other form of electricity isn’t working near the pool area. In addition to looking for signs of a problem, you should takes steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen in your home.

Steps to avoid electrocution
United Power offered suggestions to pool owners to reduce the risk of this happening in your own backyard. Anyone who has a swimming pool should have it checked out by his or her town’s electrical inspector. If you have had your pool for several years, you might want to have someone take a look at it to ensure that everything is in place and isn’t worn out.

Typically the electrician will install a fault interrupter, which will cut the power in case there’s a fault in the wiring. This can prevent serious electric shock. What’s more, United Power recommended that people avoid plugging in anything around the swimming pool. If you wish to bring a radio or other electronic device near the pool area, be sure to purchase a proper case for it so it won’t be affected if it comes in contact with water.

In general, pool owners should optimize safety conditions of the swimming pool. You might be able to reduce the risk of harm if you have a regular pool service that looks after the upkeep and maintenance. Call Fort Worth, San Diego or Phoenix pool service professionals if you’re interested in having your pool fixed, upgraded or balanced.

Remember that these accidents can lead to a number of other serious health issues, and even result in a fatality. If you’re ever unsure about the safety of a pool, avoid going in it at all costs. Don’t be afraid to let someone know if you think his or her pool might have something wrong with it.