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**Consumer Alert** CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis: 4 Tips to Avoid Electrical Shock Tragedies Around Water

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning Floridians of hidden electric shock dangers when enjoying water activities, especially while boating or swimming. Electrical currents around boats and marinas can be an invisible and sometimes deadly threat. It's also important to remember the potential electrical hazards that exist in swimming pools, hot tubs and spas and to take steps to prevent these hazards in and around water.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Florida’s beautiful weather allows residents and visitors to enjoy activities like boating and swimming year-round, and you must remember to beware of electrical hazards in and around water. Electric shock drowning can happen instantly, and these hazards can exist in swimming pools, hot tubs, spas, marinas, boat ramps and water surrounding boats. Ensure your boat, pool, and dock wiring is inspected frequently and always stay alert to prevent electric shock injuries and tragedies.”

4 Electrical Safety Tips Around Water

1. Practice safe swimming. Never swim near a marina, dock, boatyard, boat ramp, or a running boat. Residual current could flow into the water from the boat or the marina’s wiring, which could put swimmers at risk of electric shock drowning.
2. Ensure your boat is well maintained. Each year, have a boat’s electrical system inspected by a qualified marine electrician to be sure it meets required standards. Boat operators should quickly repair electrical issues and be able to locate main breakers, so they can respond to emergencies promptly.
3. Check your docks electrical equipment often. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) and equipment leakage circuit interrupters (ELCIs) should be installed and tested monthly near boat ramps and docks. Individuals should only have marine-use cords near water.
4. Inspect swimming pools and spas. Electrical devices or equipment that keeps your pool, spa or hot tub electrically safe should be periodically inspected and serviced by a qualified electrician. Outdoor receptacles must have covers that keep them dry even when appliances are plugged in. Have a qualified electrician show you how to turn off the power in case of an emergency.
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