Whether you come to the Tampa Bay area to escape the cold winter, or enjoy the sun year-round, you should always be aware of potential safety concerns at the marina. It’s not uncommon to experience some electrical issues on the dock when you head to the water for the first time. Here’s how to stay safe on the dock:
Install a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
If there is one must-have for your safety, it’s a GFCI. It’s a fast-acting circuit breaker that should be installed wherever there is electricity on your dock. It closes off electrical currents in a split second in the case of any faulty wirings or electrical mishaps. In fact, a GFCI may save you and your family’s lives. It’s not enough to simply install them, though. They should be checked by a professional who is familiar with the fire codes every month. We recommend setting up a regular appointment for the same time each month so you can be sure they’re being checked, even when you’re out of town.
Ground your dock
All metal parts of your dock should be grounded to the shore. This can be done with bonding jumpers. When installed properly, any electric charge on the dock will immediately trigger the GFCI, closing the current.
Make sure your neighbors’ docks are safe, too
Even when your dock is properly grounded and everything has been installed by a professional, you may still be at risk by other nearby docks. Electrical currents can travel much farther than we typically think and your neighbor’s bad wiring could shock you too.
Get regular, professional, inspections
Even if you keep everything regarding your boat and the marina in tip-top shape, it’s important to get it checked by a professional electrician regularly. A good schedule to follow is at least once a year or if you’ve been gone for an extended period of time. Electricians can spot potential safety concerns before they ever become an emergency and ensure everything is in working order. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so call Theta Electric before you head out to the docks.