Memorial Day weekend is known for family get-togethers, backyard barbecues and pool parties. For many of us, water activities equal fun, but it’s important to be aware of electrical hazards while enjoying time around the pool. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity and one of the most common reasons for dangerous electrical accidents.
To help ensure an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend and the rest of the summer, Arizona Public Service (APS) offers simple tips to prevent power outages and avoid hazards outside and around water.
- Electricity and pools don’t mix. Be aware of overhead power lines when using long-handled cleaning tools, as they can contact an energized wire. Know where electrical switches and circuit breakers for pool equipment and lights are located and how to switch them off in an emergency.
- Stay away from pools during a storm. Do not swim before, during or immediately after a thunderstorm.
- Keep electrical devices away from water. Electrical appliances, equipment and cords should be kept at least 6 feet away from the water. Never handle electronic devices such as speakers or phone chargers while wet or place them where they can get splashed.
- Inspect your pool for electrical hazards. Look for underwater lights that are not working properly, that flicker or work intermittently. Have a qualified electrician periodically inspect and – when necessary – replace or upgrade the electrical devices or equipment that keep your pool electrically safe.
- Hang outdoor lighting away from water. Outdoor lighting such as string lights are decorative but also dangerous if too close to water. The National Electric Code requires a minimum of 10-foot vertical clearance over the water surface in a pool.
- Keep items away from power lines. Store pool toys and tie down umbrellas and patio furniture so wind doesn’t blow them into power lines and cause power outages. Never fly drones, kites or other aerial toys near power lines. Contact your electric company before you trim or cut trees that are near power lines.
- Celebrate indoors with balloons. Mylar balloons released outdoors can drift into power lines, creating outages and extensive damage. Just last week on the Arizona State University campus, mylar balloons got into lines, knocking out power to more than 7,000 customers. Since Feb. 1, Mylar balloons have caused 18 power outages, impacting more than 16,000 APS customers. Be sure to deflate and properly dispose of mylar balloons.
For more information on how to stay safe around electricity, save money on electric bills and find bill assistance options, visit aps.com.