As a marina owner, you need to ensure that there are plenty of docks to accommodate boat owners with whom you do business. More importantly, you need to ensure that your docks provide a power source, considering that many boats rely on the power of electricity. However, docks with 120-volt power supplies can pose the risk of electric shock drowning. The good news is, there are some marine constructions tips that can help you avoid those risks.
Identify the Risks of Electric Shock Drowning
Electric shock drowning, or ESD, is a serious threat that can damage the reputation of your marina. Fortunately, identifying the risks associated with ESD can help you apply the proper solutions. ESD occurs when swimmers enter marina waters near electrified docks. In July of 2012, there were incidents in which ESD lead to the death of five individuals. 3 out of the 5 deaths that occurred were the result of faulty dock wiring.
ESD may occur for a variety of reasons. Faulty dock wiring is just one culprit. Other culprits include a lack of proper equipment to prevent electrocution and boats within your marina that leak lethal doses of electricity into the water. Of course, all of these risks can be addressed with proper marine construction.
Proper Wiring for Your Docks
Never attempt to perform your own wiring. All wiring must be performed by a certified professional. In most cases,marine construction companies employ individuals with electrical capabilities. Before you hire a company, let them know what it is you envision for your marina and the fact that you want to include electrified docks for your boat owners.
Ensure that the company provides a number of factors related to insurance and certified professionals capable of installing proper dock wiring. Furthermore, you want to ensure that they use the proper equipment to prevent ESD. There are several marinas that lack the proper equipment, namely ground-fault circuit interrupters, also known as GFCIs.
GFCIs are capable of detecting electrical leakages. If an electrical leakage is detected, the GFCI interrupts the electrical power system in order to minimize the risk of ESD. If your marina lacks a GFCI and a boat owner happens to fall into the water, it runs the risk of that person suffering from ESD. ESD may result in serious injury or even death. Therefore, let the construction company know you want GFCIs installed.
Proper Separation of Safe Swimming Zones
Marine construction contractors can also help you designate areas far away from your electrified docks to help prevent ESD. In order to ensure that swimmers do not enter unsafe areas, have the construction company install underwater blockades that prevent swimmers from drifting into areas near the docks. Post sturdy signs in and around the marina to warn swimmers of the dangers of ESD.
Providing a separate swimming zone for your customers can also help you avoid ESD related to electrical leakage that occurs from boats in your marinas. While it is possible for you to take steps to avoid the risk of ESD caused by your docks, you cannot control electrical leakages that occur from boats within your marina.
For that reason, it is important that you ensure people do no enter the water near the docks of your marina. Underwater blockades and fencing combined with posted signs help you control where swimmers enter the water. Make sure you also have the construction company post sturdy signs along the docks in order to warn boat owners not to enter the water.
By following the tips above, you can avoid the shocking results caused by electric shock drowning. Thanks to your ability to provide a safe marina and a separate, safe swimming area, you will be able to please your customers and keep them happy, therefore making your marina more profitable.