With summer in full swing, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) are joining forces to remind boaters, marina operators and swimmers to be aware of the potential electrical hazards that exist on board boats and in the waters surrounding boats, marinas and launch ramps. Electric shock drownings (ESD) can occur when marina or onboard electrical systems leak electrical current into the water. The leak can cause a shock that can injure, disable or kill a person, as reported in the NFPA Journal article, Troubled Waters.
ESFI has boating and marina safety resources including brochures, toolkits, reference guides, and checklists that cover safety devices, common ESD causes and prevention methods, response protocol, and marina electrical safety considerations. ESFI recommends five key tips for boat owners:
“Boaters and marina owners alike recognize the need to inform the public about the dangers of electric shock drownings,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of Outreach and Advocacy. “By sharing ESFI’s boating and marina safety resources, we hope to educate people so that they can safely enjoy a fun summer on the water.”
“Many swimmers, boat and marina operators unknowingly place themselves in danger by swimming near electric-powered boats and docks,” Brett Brenner, ESFI president, said. “As incidents of electric shock drowning continue to occur every year, we are collaborating with NFPA to emphasize the importance of proactive measures that will help prevent these tragedies and other electrical injuries while out on the water.”
Addressing marina and boating electrical safety is a multi-faceted issue due to different jurisdictions, standards and codes; the question of where land and water begin and end; consideration of where boats enter and depart; and different perspectives among the boating community and marina operators - but all sides agree that it is important to elevate boating and marina electrical safety awareness via proactive outreach.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety in the home and the workplace. ESFI proudly sponsors National Electrical Safety Month each May, and engages in public education campaigns throughout the year to prevent electrical fires, injuries, and fatalities. To learn more about ESFI and electrical safety, visit www.esfi.org.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.