Everyone knows that water and electricity don’t mix. But what people sometimes forget is that swimming pools are often surrounded by lots of outlets and other power sources.
In the wake of two tragic fatalities, experts are doing their best to help prevent electric shock around pools and other bodies of water.
On Saturday, 11-year-old Kayla Matos was swimming in a lagoon in Toms River, New Jersey, when she touched an electrified boat lift. She was electrocuted and died later that evening, NBC News reported. Just one day earlier, 19-year-old Evan Currie met the same fate in Lake Erie, Ohio, while trying to save his father and family dog at a marina.
For families who spend a lot of time near pools or lakes, there’s a new new device called the Shock Alert that alerts you to stray voltage in the water before you take a swim. In the following video, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen demonstrated how you can use this device to test your pool to make sure it’s safe for swimming (according to experts, most of these types of accidents happen in swimming pools). He also discussed how to remove stray voltage in the event that the pool isn’t safe.
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“There’s all sorts of power around the pool,” Frank Vlasaty, who created Shock Alert, told TODAY. Because of this, electric shock drowning is sometimes called “the silent killer.”
The Electric Shock Drowning Association, which formed to help educate people about the risk of electric shock drowning, says it has recorded 84 cases of this type of drowning since 1986. So, in spite of the recent instances, it is rare. Nevertheless, a device that gives you peace of mind when your family is swimming is priceless.