Safety tips for boat owners

Power for Progress… a weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority.

Water, electricity and safety …. Memorial Day is just around the corner, so in recognition of May being National Electrical Safety Month, GRDA is sharing some important electric safety tips for boat owners. Keep these in mind if your upcoming plans include anything like what is pictured here.

Water, electricity and safety …. Memorial Day is just around the corner, so in recognition of May being National Electrical Safety Month, GRDA is sharing some important electric safety tips for boat owners. Keep these in mind if your upcoming plans include anything like what is pictured here.

While the Grand River Dam Authority continues to recognize May as National Electric Safety Month, we also understand that the upcoming Memorial Day weekend is a good time to think about boating safety. So, in this week’s installment, we wanted to pass along some electrical safety tips for boat owners and operators, from the Electric Safety Foundation International (esfi.org). Here are some things to consider as you hit the water this weekend:

– Be aware of your surroundings and potential electrical hazards by checking the location of nearby power lines before boating, fishing, or swimming. Always maintain a distance of at least 10 feet between your boat and nearby power lines.

– If you feel a tingle while swimming, the water may be electrified, get out of the water as soon as possible avoiding the use of metal objects such as ladders. Notify the owner of the property immediately, as this tingle is a sign that power to the facility should be turned off until a proper inspection has been completed.

– Have your boat’s electrical system inspected and upgraded by a certified marine electrician regularly to be sure they meet your local and state safety code and standards.

– Use “UL- Marine Listed” portable GFCIs when using electricity near water. They will decrease the chances of shock or electrocution.

– Consider having Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupters (ELCI) installed on boats to protect nearby swimmers from potential electricity leakage into water surrounding your boat.

– Only use shore or marine power cords, plugs, receptacles, and extension cords that have been tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or ETL SEMKO (ETL). They are specifically designed to keep you safe when using them near water.

– If you question the safety of your boat’s electrical system, immediately turn off the power supply at the electrical panel and do not turn it back on until it has been checked by a qualified electrician.

– Never stand or swim in water when turning off electrical devices or switches to prevent shock or electrocution.

Your friends at the Grand River Dam Authority wish you a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Holiday. For more helpful tips, visit www.esfi.org.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.