Dock Check Request – Stray Voltage in the Water
Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire Rescue is offering a free dock check to lake residents. If you would like us check the water around your dock for stray voltage, complete the form below and someone will contact you to schedule the dock check.
Due to the overwhelming response for dock checks it is taking a long time for us to get them all done. We are committed to getting your dock check done and will contact you as soon as possible. We apologize for taking so long getting to your dock.
Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) is a drowning that occurs as a result of the person coming into contact with stray voltage flowing through the water. There are a number of ways electrical current finds its way into the water. Some of the more common are improperly wired electrical services to boat docks, frayed wires coming into contact with the water and improperly wired or poorly grounded boat lifts.
The most common source of stray voltage entering the water comes from your boat and jet ski lifts. Here are a couple of safety recommendations for all homeowners with boat docks:
- Upgrade your dock’s electrical service to be compliant with the latest electric code.
- Insure ground fault circuit interrupter technology is installed on dock circuits.
Make sure all metal parts of the boat and jet ski lifts are out of the water when people are swimming off your dock.
Never allow people to swim near your boat or jet ski lift.
Do not touch the boat or jet ski lift and the water at the same time.
Never allow swimming around the slips in a marina or community dock.
- Special attention is required if you have metal pilings supporting your dock.
For more on ESD and preventative tips, check the community interest sections of our Links and Files pages.