Home, Residential, electrical services
Written by Larry Cook

ESFI Boating & Marina Safety Tips – Part 1

Before boating this summer, it would be wise to review best practices for safety. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is devoted to promoting electrical safety at home and at work, and it is considered the top organization in this field worldwide. Part 1 will summarize ESFI’s safety tips for boat operators.

ESFI Safety Tips for Boat Operators

  • Never allow swimming near docks. When loading or launching a boat, avoid entering the water. Both docks and boats can cause water electrification by leaking electricity.
  • Look for possible electrical hazards prior to water activities by spotting power lines nearby and maintaining a safety zone of 10 feet or more away from them.
  • If you feel tingling while swimming, leave the water immediately by swimming away from the dock and avoid touching metallic objects, including ladders. Notify the marina owner or manager immediately.
  • Ask a certified marine electrician to inspect and upgrade your boat’s electrical system, making sure local and state NEC, NFPA, and ABYC safety code and standards are met.
  • Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) on your boat and make sure that owners also have them installed on their dock or marina. Testing should be performed monthly.
  • Utilize UL- Marine Listed portable GFCIs when using electricity near water to lower the risks of electrical shock or electrocution.
  • Equip your boat with Equipment Leakage Circuit Interrupters (ELCI) to prevent electrical leakage into the surrounding water for the protection of swimmers.
  • Utilize only UL-tested shore or marine power cords, plugs, receptacles, and extension cords.
  • Do not use frayed or damaged cords, including those with prongs that were altered or removed. These cords may lead to electrocution or electrical shock.
  • If you doubt your boat’s electrical system safety, immediately shut off the power supply at the electrical panel and ask a qualified electrician to inspect it.
  • When turning off electrical devices or switches, ensure that no one is in the water to prevent electrocution or electrical shock.
  • Dock or marina owners should be notified immediately of any electrical safety hazards.

Part 2 will review ESFI’s Marina Safety Tips.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.