Video shows dangers of pools getting electrified

Print
Email
|

wwltv.com

Posted on May 23, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Updated Friday, May 23 at 5:32 PM

Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

The summer pool season is getting underway, and with it, attention to some of the dangers that can pose.

That was brought to light in a recent incident, in which children and adults were electrocuted in a pool due to a faulty pump.  All survived. But others haven't been so lucky. Like one boy who died when a faulty light caused a pool to become electrified. 

But there is safety and prevention advice that can help.

The video out of Miami is literally shocking. Children going limp as they touch metal railings when an apartment complex pool becomes electrified. Adults rush in risking their own lives to grab the children.

"The grandfather did a very heroic thing. He chanced himself getting shocked and did get shocked," said Dr.  Keith Van Meter, Chief of Emergency Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center.
So what how do you safely rescue someone?

"The best way would be to have a fiber glass pole, not even a piece of wood that's wet, but a fiberglass pole and of course fire fighters have that," explained Dr. Van Meter.
And they also have rubber gloves to help.
 
Dr. Van Meter says muscles tightly contract making it hard to let go of the metal when water is electrified. He says the heart and breathing can stop. People should keep those easy to use AED's, which are defibrillators, near the pool to shock and restart the heart. If ther isn't one, use CPR and assisted breathing.
 
Pool experts say this is rare and preventable.

"It's like the electrical outlets in your house. If you're quality built to begin with, you're not going to have an issue 20, 30, 40 years down the road." said Rafael Namer, design and sales manager at Blue Haven Pools in Metairie.

Land can shift, causing cracks. Pumps can sit in water and rust. If anything looks out of the ordinary, like water in a pool light, call an inspector.

"If a house, no different from a pool, were to change hands, then it would be proper due diligence to have a professional come out and inspect the pool.  Not just an electrician, but under the supervision of a pool contractor," said Namer.
 
You can also install a 12-volt power system transformer to bring down a potentially deadly 120 volts to just twelve.

"It's know your contractor. You're going to get what you pay for. You can put your head on the pillow at night and sleep better if it's well constructed by a reliable, insured, contractor to begin with," said Namer.

Parish inspectors have to inspect the grounding and other stages of pools that are being built.
And, Namer says it might not help to get rid of metal railings, because the concrete has steel rebar running through it.
 

 

Print
Email
|