The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Infographic: How to prevent electrical shock in water

July 15, 2019 | Jason Kuiper | infographic, safety, tips
prevent electrical shock, even in water

Summer means many of us will hit the pools and lakes for some fun in the sun and on the water. But you should also make sure you head these tips to prevent electrical shock in your swimming and boating area.

This infographic from the American Public Power Association has valuable information about how to prevent electrical shock.

shock drowning
Courtesy of APPA

Docks and boats carry sources of electricity. Faulty wiring or the use of damaged electrical cords and other devices can cause the surrounding water to become energized. NEVER swim near a marina or near a boat while its motor is running.

  • There is no visible warning of electrified water.
  • Electric current in the water causes the paralysis of muscles, which results in drowning.
  • The 2017 National Electrical Code now requires marinas and boatyards to have ground-fault protection to help prevent water electrification. Check to see if your marina, and the boats in the marina, have proper GFCI protection.
  • As little as 10 milliamps, 1/50th the amount used by a 60-watt light bulb, can cause paralysis and drowning.

Take action

What to do if you see electric shock drowning taking place:

  • Turn power off
  • Throw a life ring
  • Call 911
  • NEVER enter the water – you could become a victim, too

The 2017 National Electrical Code requires marinas and boat docks to post electric shock warning signs where electricity is used near water.

Author Image

About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

View all posts by Jason Kuiper >

Leave a Comment


How Does That Work?


Leading the Way

Powerful Life


Working for You