Outdoor Electrical Safety
- Be alert, look up, and stay alive. These are the keys to boating safety. For the unprepared sailor, power lines pose a potentially life-threatening situation.
- Avoid contact with overhead power lines by checking the clearance before raising or lowering your mast or spar. Remember, both wooden and metal spars or masts can conduct electricity.
- Consider tides when determining overhead clearances. Overhead clearances that are adequate for your vessel at low tide may not be adequate for your vessel at high tide.
- Keep all drying sails and sheet lines from blowing into power lines.
- Remove or lower antennas or flags from large cruise vessels and sailboat hulls before transporting your boat over land. Know the total height of your trailer and boat with and without the mast up.
- Don’t haul, store or sail your boat unless you have at least 10 feet of clearance between the highest point of your boat and the lowest point of all power lines. Remember, overhead power lines exist over roads, parking lots and other boat storage facilities, as well as above waterways.
- Be careful when pulling your sailboat on the beach or when docking. Always look up for overhead power lines.
- Watch out for overhead power lines when removing your boat from the water. Ask another person to direct you so that you can safely clear all power lines by at least 10 feet.
- Be aware of signs that indicate underwater gas or electric utility lines. Don’t anchor your boat near underwater cables or pipelines. At low tide, clearances to underwater cables and pipelines could be inadequate for your vessel.
- Check for wires overhead when fishing.
|Read our Power Line Safety for Sailors brochure|
- Make sure there are no power lines over a swimming pool.
- Do not swim during a thunderstorm.
- Keep electric appliances (i.e. radios) at least 10 feet away from swimming pools.
- Make sure all electrical equipment used for swimming pools (even the cleaning equipment) is grounded.