Brush up on lightning safety tips this summer

By Brian Bell July 11, 2014


Brush up on lightning safety tips this summer

Brush up on lightning safety tips this summer

Though the higher temperatures of summer can mean shocking electric bills and humid nights, they also make pools much more fun. A sweltering day means patrons will flock in droves to local pools, but managers should also be aware of some of the dangers warmer temperatures bring along.

When hot and cold air masses collide, they create thunder and lightning. Lightning can come at any time and sometimes without warning, so proper pool management means knowing the best ways to keep pools and patrons safe from lightning strikes this summer.

Evacuate outdoor pools
Outdoor pools may be the best way to cool off while still enjoying the summer weather, but the lack of a roof leaves patrons unprotected from the elements. While this may be a minor inconvenience during other weather events like rain or wind, lightning strikes on an unprotected body of water can result in serious harm.

Instead, pool managers who suspect an incoming storm should remove all patrons from the water. Even if there has been no lightning in the local area, it only takes one strike for injury occur. Shelter patrons in covered areas such as locker rooms or lobbies until the storm passes, but the pool should not be reopened until all threat of lightning has left the area. Swimmers may not be happy at being kept out of the water, but managers of outdoor pools should practice extra caution whenever lightning is involved.

Be smart with indoor pools
Managers of indoor facilities usually have more leeway when it comes to protecting patrons from lightning. If the pool is in an area that frequently experiences thunderstorms, the structure housing the pool may have been specially built to resist direct strikes. A combination of lightning rods, damping materials and grounded conductors attached to the external structure may be enough to dissipate the electricity into the ground.

However, indoor pool managers should also inform patrons that conditions outside are dangerous and they are recommended to remain inside until the storm passes. This lowers the pool’s liability if any patrons hurt themselves in the unsafe conditions walking to their cars or driving out of the parking lot.

Pool managers who keep their patrons safe will see them return in the future. Practice caution this summer when the weather takes a turn for the worse to avoid injuries from lightning strikes.