It's probably something that you've never thought of - but if you own a cabin or spend any amount of time at the lake in the summer months (and it's easy to do so here in the Northland), it could be a matter of life or death.

Many people aren't aware that you can be electrocuted in a lake by stray current;  the source of that electrical charge is often from errant outlets and wires at the dockside.  Cabin owners often run electrical wiring to their dock for lights, stereos, even battery-charging.  And while electricity at the dockside can be practical, it can also be deadly.

Recently, the death of an Alabama girl was in the news.  While the girl was swimming, the father lowered a metal ladder in to the water to allow her easy access.  What the dad didn't know was that a light switch on the dock was partially-submerged in the lake water.  Current followed the water to the metal dock, then through the metal ladder (which was leaned up against the dock), and finally in to the lake water - completing the circuit.

Experts advise people to be careful with electricity around water - even around bodies of water as large as a lake.  If you have electrical service to the waterfront or to the dock on your lake property, use extreme caution.  Make sure that any electrical connection is solid and is as far away from the water as possible.  Use plastic decking or ladders.  You can also install a warning system to alert you to the potential of electrical danger near your dock.

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