Facility Dude

Keep everyone safe at the pool this summer

By FacilityDude
May 23, 2014

Facilities Management, Industry News

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For many facility managers, the approach of summer is often synonymous with opening up swimming pools. While such amusements can be great ways for tenants to cool off and engage in seasonal recreation, they also come with their own very specific safety concerns. Especially for children, swimming pools can be the source of severe electrical hazards that could lead to injury or even death. Before you let people start practicing their cannon balls, make sure you take care of some basic building maintenance around your pool area.

Know where the danger lay

While there have been many documented instances of children being electrocuted in swimming pools recently, they do not represent the only hazardous areas. According to the Queensland Department of Justice, any water environments, including ponds and water features such as fountains should be properly outfitted to avoid risk of electrocution. In general, it's a good idea to keep any electrical equipment, including plugs and extension cords, well away from any aquatic environments. If electrical equipment must be installed around the facility's water features, there should be an emergency breaker or shutoff switch nearby so that power can be cut quickly if need be. These switches should be tested regularly, approximately every three months, to ensure proper functioning.

Keep on top of maintenance

Swimming pools incorporate complicated lighting and filtration systems, and these add additional safety considerations. Obviously inlaid pool lights must be submerged in water, so it's especially important to keep on top of maintenance. Lights should be regularly inspected for mold or fungus growth, which, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, can be a sign of cracks and leaks that can let water in where it can interact with the electrical components of the lights. If you do notice any of these signs, do not use the lights and have them repaired or replaced by a certified electrician immediately.

The pool accessories must also be taken into account. Consider using nonconductive material like plastic or rubber for pool ladders. If you do have a metal ladder, it, along with any other metal components like the fence around your pool should be bonded. This process connects all the metallic components with a grounded copper wire. That way, if an electric charge does flow into the metal, it can safely be carried out through the wire and into the ground, instead of into one of your unsuspecting tenants.

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