Most pool owners in Broward County and Miami Dade County have complained because their pool has been partially served because of the rain, and the pool tech will not return to perform any missed duties until the next regular service
Officially the OSHA regulations are the reason why your pool techs is not allowed to use any pool equipment to brush, skimmer and vacuum your pool during a rain, but let´s focus on the motive why OSHA standards are so strict about this matter.
According to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, (NOAA), Florida is by far the state where most people die from lightning strikes. Between 2007 and the end of 2017, 53 people died, well ahead of the second most deadly state due to this cause: Texas, with 21 deaths for the same period.
Additionally, NOAA data indicates that 64% of death by lightning strikes since 2006, were people who were participating in outdoor activities, as for example, doing maintenance service to the pool
But, why so many deaths in Florida?
According to data compiled by Betsy Crips, from the University of Florida, The large number of thunderstorms and lightning deaths in this State is due to a combination of high temperatures, high humidity levels and its location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. “Rain clouds plus high temperatures result in thunderstorms and lightning,” she explains.
The rays are a natural phenomenon with a power of up to 30 million volts and a temperature of up to 30,000 ° C, five times hotter than the surface of the Sun.
When there are storms, the rays fall on the highest areas of the terrain and, therefore, a person walking in an open area becomes the highest point in its surroundings becoming a lightning rod, so it can be reached directly by these electric shocks of nature.
But why would lightning strike a person?
Why an electric shock occurs? There is a basic rule in physics: opposite poles attract each other. The electrical energy that the clouds accumulate discharges in the form of lightning bolts when the electric charge on the surface of the earth is opposite to the electric charge of the cloud.
In view of these facts, it is crucial that all citizens in Florida protect themselves and be alert during the storm season. It is very important to know that:
- Lightning can reach a radius of 10 miles. Experts say that “If you can hear the thunder, you are at a distance where the storm can reach you”
- The best way to protect yourself from the impact of lightning is to check the weather and postpone or cancel any outdoor activity when there is a forecast of storms.
- The electricity of the lightning is conducted by the pipes. It is best to avoid water of all kinds during a storm. Do not shower, do not enter the beach or the pool, wash the dishes or wash your hands.
- Most electrical discharges occur in the summer, especially in the month of July, in the evening or before nightfall.
- If there are trees near where we are, it is very likely that the electric discharge of the cloud falls on the foliage, so it is important not to seek refuge under the plants, since if one of them receives the beam the energy of the discharge It will also affect us.
Beyond complying with government regulations, staying indoors during the rain is a safety issue not only for the pool tech but also for all the people who inhabit the state of Florida. The consequences of a lightning strike can be fatal. Failures of the central nervous system, alterations of the heart rhythm, convulsions or death when the respiratory center is paralyzed and suffer cardiac arrest.
Always keep in mind that 80 to 85 percent of the human body is composed of water, that’s why we are a perfect conductor for electricity. Being out in the open, near an entrance, a cave, hut or shelter, or next to an open window is dangerous because the human body serves as a bridge for lightning.