Dive Headfirst Into Swimming Pool Safety

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You might be ready for a summer of swimming pool games like Marco Polo or simply frolicking and swimming your days away, but is your pool safely ready for them?

From building or setting up a portable pool under power lines to not having ground-fault circuit interrupters- Opens in new window on all outlets within 20 feet of the water’s edge, there are many electrical hazards- Opens in new window — both visible and hidden — that can endanger unsuspecting pool occupants this summer.

But they don’t have to, not with crucial annual inspections of swimming pools- Opens in new window, hot tubs and spas and an awareness of safely navigating the dangers of water and electricity before the fun and games begin.

“It’s vital to periodically have your pool inspected to ensure that pool lighting, ground-fault circuit interrupters and all grounding and bonding systems are functioning properly,” said Ted Gribble, senior manager of Wildfire & Public Safety at Southern California Edison. “These inspections should only be done by licensed electricians with experience working on pools, hot tubs and spas.”

These qualified professionals will replace or upgrade electrical devices and equipment such as underwater lights, junction boxes and pumps and heaters to prevent mishaps and the 41 reported electrocutions and 48 injuries that the Consumer Product Safety Commission- Opens in new window says have occurred in pools and spas in the U.S. between 2002-2023.

And don’t forget about overhead hazards. Pools and diving boards should be kept well away from overhead power lines. It is important to maintain the minimum clearance requirements. If you have electric lines near your pool or wish to install a pool in your yard near power lines, first consult with SCE’s Local Planning department at 800-655-4555 or your local inspection agency.

High-powered water squirters- Opens in new window should also be kept away from power lines, as should long-handled cleaning tools. Always carry these tools horizontally and keep them more than 10 feet away from lines.

Qualified professionals will replace or upgrade electrical devices and equipment such as underwater lights, junction boxes, pumps and heaters to prevent mishaps. | Credit: Courtesy

Additional pool, hot tub and spa safety tips- Opens in new window include:

  • Ground-fault circuit interrupters should be on all pool lighting, circuits, pumps, heaters, all outlets within 20 feet of the water’s edge and tested monthly.
  • Use portable GFCIs when permanent ones are unavailable.
  • Do not string lights above or near pools.
  • Use only battery-operated devices near pools.

The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance- Opens in new window and the California Contractors State License Board- Opens in new window offer databases to help find licensed professionals and verify their licenses, respectively.

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