The Importance of Boat Dock Electrical Safety

April 4, 2019 5:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Jumping off the dock to splash around in the water was, until recently, one of life’s simple joys. However, parents need to be careful about letting their kids do this due to evidence of a fatal hazard known as electric shock drowning (ESD). This is the result of electrical currents surging through the water from boats, improperly grounded wires, faulty wires and other sources.

If you want to know more about ESD and how an outdoor electrician in Forsyth County, GA can help prevent it, read on.


People have referred to ESD as a silent killer because the deadly electrical currents aren’t immediately obvious. But they can send volts through a swimmer’s body, leading to paralysis and drowning. This can also occur in situations like when a boater is cleaning the watercraft or inspecting a prop.

Unfortunately, even lower levels of voltage are enough to paralyze a child for long enough that they can drown. The electrical levels in the water will also make it difficult for any adults around to try to save them.

How to prevent ESD

On the flip side, there are many things you can do to reduce the potential for ESD:

  • Don’t swim near the dock: Preventing people from swimming near your dock might be a bit less fun, but it’s the safest, simplest way to prevent ESD. Make sure swimmers are a minimum of 50 yards away from an electrical-powered dock.
  • Look out for electrical currents: If you see any evidence of an electrical current in the water, it’s time to call it a day. Bring in a certified electrician to handle the problem. This also goes for any time that you get an electrical shock when you touch metal on the boat—this is a sign that something isn’t right and that you could be at risk if someone falls into the water.
  • Get up to date: Examine the latest electrical codes and standards. Call in the professionals to inspect your boat twice a year. This will greatly decrease the likelihood that the boat’s wiring is faulty, leading to a lower risk of ESD.
  • Use your devices: You may want to pick up a floating sensor such as a Shock Alert or Dock Lifeguard that detects electricity in the vicinity of your boat. This is a simple and popular option, as it will immediately notify you of potential danger.

When you’re looking for a certified outdoor electrician in Forsyth County, GA, it’s important to remember that your family’s safety is on the line. That’s why it’s smart to go with a trusted company with an extensive track record of experience.

Duke Electric Co. is a local leader in residential and commercial electric contracting. We’re a proud, locally-owned and operated company with more than five decades of experience offering high-quality services, including repairs and inspections for docks, pathway lighting installations, wiring and breaker and panel replacements, as well as a range of marine electrical services. Call today for more information and a free estimate!

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