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Safety Tips for Public and Private Dock Owners

While many summer activities happen on or near the dock, remember: water and electricity are a lethal mix!

Electric shock can happen anywhere electricity is present – on the dock itself and in the water. Electrical installations and equipment on docks should be checked regularly and maintained to ensure they’re safe and comply with Ontario Electrical Safety Code requirements.

Dock owners are responsible for ensuring the electrical installation and equipment around docks and boathouses are maintained and in safe working order.

Three tips to help ensure your dock’s electrical system is safe:

  1. The Ontario Electrical Safety Code requires Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protection for receptacles on floating piers or docks and circuits delivering electricity to these receptacles are to be Ground Fault Protected (GFP).
  2. Never use frayed or damaged cords and make sure all marine cords have a ground pin (i.e. three prongs) to prevent electric shock. Learn how to power up safely with extension cords.
  3. If you suspect an issue with your dock’s electrical system immediately turn off the power at the electrical panel and contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to check your system. Find one here.

Also, consider placing signage near your dock warning about the potential for electric current in the water.


Learn more:

Download ESA's Electrical Safety Around the Dock brochure