Friday, April 1, 2016

Stay Safe On Your Dock This Season

Boating season is getting underway and summer will be here before you know it. That means you're probably going to be spending quite a bit of time on a boat dock. With more than 25,000 docks on the Lake of the Ozarks, boat dock safety is of utmost concern. Summerset Boat Lifts wants to help keep you safe this season, so we've put together a list of dock safety tips.

1.  Electrical Safety 

One of the main safety issues with boat docks has to do with the fact that electricity and water don't mix. Be sure you're taking all the precautions to avoid electrical shock and other dock issues related to electricity.
  • All electrical wiring on boats and docks should be installed and maintained according to the National Electrical Codes and installed by an experienced, licensed electrician. 
  • Use only ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI) outlets/switches in areas that are near or exposed to water. 
  • Test GFCI outlets/switches monthly. A tester can be purchased at your local hardware store. 
  • Keep electrical wires, cords and appliances at least 5 feet from the water. 
  • Use only grounded extension cords that are the correct size for the equipment and are rated for outdoor use. 
  • Do not alter or tape electrical wires/cords and dispose of any frayed or damaged cords. 
  • Receptacles, switch boxes and junction boxes must not be within six feet of a ladder for the dock. 
  • Metal dock frames should have "bonding jumpers" that connect all metal parts to an on-shore grounding rod. 
  • Have your boat, dock and boat lift at the Lake of the Ozarks inspected regularly. 

2. Safety with Children

When it comes to dock safety, be sure to use common sense. However, if you have children, you'll want to pay close attention to them the entire time they are on the dock (and anywhere near water). Here are a few tips for helping to keep your little ones safe.
  • Make sure children are always wearing a life jacket when near the water. This doesn't mean just on the boat, but also on the dock.  
  • Make a rule of no running on the dock. 
  • Remind children to stay away from the edge of the dock. 
  • Having them wear shoes will prevent splinters and other cuts, etc. that can occur on a dock.  

3. General Dock Safety 

In addition to electrical safety and watching out for children, there are a few other things you can do to make sure your dock is a safe place to enjoy the summer season!
  •  Regularly check your dock for areas that are splintering. If your dock is older, it's always a good idea to wear shoes in order to prevent splinters. 
  • Check your dock for any loose nails sticking up or anything else that looks out of place that could be tripped over and/or cause an accident. 
  • Look for any mold, moss or algae on your dock that could cause it to be slippery. 
  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol while on the dock, on the boat or anywhere near water. 
  • Have a first aid kit handy for any accidents that may occur.  
  • Don't leave any ropes or other items lying around that could be tripped over or that someone could get tangled up in.

4. Docking Your Boat

It's important to be safe when you're on the dock, but it's also important to take caution while bringing your boat back to the dock. Docking is an essential boating skill, so we've put together some tips to help you out. If you've never operated a lift before, a representative from our boat lift company at the Lake of the Ozarks will be on the dock to help you out the first time you use it!
  • Be sure to know the area and the water you plan to dock in. 
  • Stop well away from the dock. 
  • Make sure you take any wind into consideration.  
  • Come up to the dock slowly and continue forward with the wheel straight. 
  • Use caution when jumping off your boat onto the dock. Then quickly tie it off. 

When it comes to dock safety, boat lift safety should also be included. Before you use your lift for the first time this season, you should have someone from Summerset Boat Lifts come out and take a look at it. With the water level fluctuations we've experienced this winter, it's important that you make sure nothing is out of place on your dock and lift. As your premier boat lift company at the Lake of the Ozarks, we're here to help with all your boat lift needs!

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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