As the weather continues to get warmer into the summer months, Alabama’s beautiful lakes will be increasingly popular destinations. Make sure safety is a priority while boating, swimming or relaxing by the water this season, especially where electricity is present.

May is National Electrical Safety Month, and as an essential part of our everyday lives, electricity is all around us. It’s important to know how to stay safe this month and throughout the summer as we head outdoors and enjoy the water and recreation. Please view these tips provided by Electrical Safety Foundation International on how to stay safe around water and electricity.

1. Swimming Safety. Never swim near a boat, marina or launching ramp. Residual current could flow into the water from the boat, or the marina’s wiring, potentially putting anyone in the water at risk of electric shock drowning.

2. Put It to the Test. Be sure your boat is properly maintained; consider having it inspected annually. GFCIs and ELCIs should be tested monthly to ensure functionality. Conduct leakage testing to determine if electrical current is escaping the vessel.

3. Use the Right Tool. Never use household electrical cords near water. Use only portable GFCIs or shore power cords (including “Y” adapters) that are “UL-Marine Listed” when using electricity near water.

4. Know Your Surroundings. Know where your main breaker or breakers are located on the boat and the shore power source so that you can respond quickly in case of an emergency. Be aware of any potential electrical hazards by checking for nearby power lines before boating, fishing or swimming.

5. Learn the Code. Regularly have your boat’s electrical system inspected and upgraded by a certified marine electrician to be sure it meets your local and state NEC, NFPA and ABYC safety codes and standards.

Click here to download Alabama Power’s Lake Safety Resource Guide. Visit for more details on our electrical safety programs, more safety tips, resources and activities for kids.

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