Outdoor Electrical Cord Safety

These days we have more electrical gadgets than ever. When relaxing in or by the pool, it’s normal to want to enjoy our electrical devices (like our phones or tablet computers). After all, there isn’t anything much more relaxing than lying by the pool reading a Kindle.

These devices need power, and outdoor extension cords are an easy way to provide electrical accessibility. A couple of things to remember…

Most Electrical Cords Are Not Rated for Water

If you want to enjoy your boom-box poolside and need to plug it in, it’s tempting to run an electrical cord from the outlet to where you’re seated. This isn’t a bad thing to do assuming that you follow a couple of simple rules:

Never submerge an electrical cord in water – Even if the cord is advertised as being waterproof, submerging an electrical cord in water is asking for an electrical fault (at best) or an accidental electrocution (at worst).
Always plug extension cords into a ground fault protected outlet.
Always keep extension cords away from the edge of pool (at least 3 metres)
Never leave an extension cord lying around or plugged in when you aren’t also there. After a long night it can be tempting to leave things where they are; always take the time to clean up extension cords, and never leave them plugged in unattended.
Keep electrical cords away from traffic areas, or areas where they pose a tripping hazard. Tripping over an electrical cord next to a pool is asking for an injury.

Water Is an Excellent Conductor
Be mindful of where water is likely to splash. A submerged electrical cord is a hazard- care should be taken to ensure that electrical cords are not at risk for being exposed to water from splashes, sprinklers, etc.

Run extension cords in areas well away from water – Take care to ensure that the cord is secured properly, out of travel areas, and away from areas that could be splashed.

Small Devices Don’t Enjoy Swimming
As tempting as it can be, going for a swim with your smartphone in your pocket isn’t a good idea. Some smartphones are waterproof (some new devices from Sony are designed to go swimming with you), but the vast majority won’t handle the water well.

Keep your phone, speakers, and e-readers well away from the water and any area that may become exposed to water.