McKenzie Kinley, 9, of Citrus Heights, was electrocuted in her backyard swimming pool after a pool light malfunctioned. According to a KTLA news report, the Northern California girl died in a Sacramento area hospital after efforts by family members and fire officials to revive her failed. Police said a light fixture in the pool was in the process of being repaired. The light sits inside the water and is not sealed on the outside of the pool.
Tragic Swimming Pool Death
The girl’s father’s girlfriend was home and had been in the pool with the children before she stepped out to go to the restroom. Her father said the children were racing from one end of the pool to the other when McKenzie got to the other side of the swimming pool and grabbed a hold of a cord, which was attached to a light inside the pool and was being repaired. He said, to their knowledge, the light was not connected to a power source.
Citrus Heights police are looking into the cause of death. They said McKenzie was electrocuted and drowned. Police said detectives, as part of the investigation, are looking to find out if any work being done on the home had proper permits and inspections. Our deepest condolences go out to McKenzie Kinley’s family members and her young friends who witnessed this incident. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Pools and Electrocution Dangers
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, since 2002, the agency is aware of 21 fatalities that involved electrocutions in swimming pools. Electrocution refers to death by electrical shock. Wet skin or wet surfaces such as grass or a pool deck can significantly increase the likelihood of electrocution when electricity is present. Electricity can be found in and around pools, spas, and hot tubs – in underwater lights, pool equipment such as pumps, filters and vacuums, power cords, electrical outlets or switches, and overhead power lines.
There are ways in which such horrific tragedies can be prevented. According to professional electricians, bonding and grounding are your best defenses against pool electrocution. Grounding involves electrically attaching powered equipment to the ground. If there is a short in the system, the circuit breaker trips to shut off the power right away and renders the equipment harmless.
Bonding involves electrically connecting all parts of the pool such as the pump, heater, and ladder to build a grid. A ground-fault circuit interrupter or GFCI could be a lifesaver in preventing electrocution as soon as it begins. Keeping the pool deck clear of electronics and power cords will also help because it prevents electronic devices from falling or being pulled into the water. It’s best to have battery-powered devices around the pool whenever possible.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident an experienced California personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options. You may be able to seek compensation for your significant losses especially if negligence and/or wrongdoing were involved.