Marina & Boatyard Electrical Safety

Everyone knows that you should NEVER mix electricity and water, but how can we protect against the various electrical hazards that may be present in and around marinas and boatyards?

The National Fire Protection Association has published two safety codes standards related to electrical safety near marinas and boatyards, NFPA 303 and NFPA 70. These regulations emphasize the importance of hiring qualified and experienced contractors and electricians for your marina electrical-system projects, repairs, and maintenance. In addition to hiring qualified electricians, it is important that all marina personnel and boaters are taught how to safely handle electrical components, visually identify electrical hazards, and how to properly respond to emergency situations. This will greatly reduce the risk of electric shock drowning

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK DROWNING

Below we have highlighted a few regulation and standards from NFPA 303 and NFPA 70.

* All marina and boatyards owners and operators should be familiar with and have access to these documents *

NFPA 303 was published in 1940 and is the electrical safety standard for marinas and boatyards.

Chapter 5 covers Electrical Wiring and Equipment.

NFPA 303: Chapter 5 Electrical Wiring and Equipment
NFPA 303–5.20 Maintenance of Electrical Wiring and Equipment

“An inspection of all electrical wiring, ground connections, conduit, hangers, supports, connections, outlets, appliances, devices, and portable cables installed or used in a marina, boatyard, boat basin, or similar establishment shall be made at regular intervals to ensure complete inspection at least annually.”

Furthermore, the inspection required in 5.20.1 shall include a test of the ground integrity and polarity. The use of grounding-type portable electrical equipment that is not properly and adequately grounded shall be identified and removed from use or repaired.

NFPA 303 – Electrical System Annual Checklist
Proper Grounding of all Electrical Power Pedestals

Marine grade shore power cords only

  • All portable fire extinguishers serviced annually

  • Extinguishers conspicuously located on all piers, shop areas, restaurants, meeting areas, office, etc.

  • At least one AIBI portable fire extinguisher at the foot of all piers and along docks and accessible within 75 feet)

  • Sprinkler system services and tagged annually

  • Sprinkler system inspected and tested monthly

  • Is welding or flame cutting performed on the premises

If yes, list marina personnel or subcontractors: ___________________________________

  • A special area set up for welding/cutting

  • Smoke and fire detection system in all shop areas, office, meeting areas, restaurant, etc.

  • Central station alarmed facility will conduct and document annual in-house training of personnel in fire safe behavior and the application of portable fire extinguishers in accordance with NFPA 303.

NFPA 70 – National Electric Code (NEC)

Section 555 of the NEC covers specific electrical requirements for marinas and boatyards and covers the specifics for floating buildings, such as floating fuel docks, small marina offices, etc.

NFPA 70 – NEC 555.3 Ground Fault Protection

“The main overcurrent protective device that feeds the marina shall have ground fault protection not exceeding 100mA. Ground protection of each individual circuit breaker or feeder circuit shall be permitted as a suitable alternative.”

Electricians who perform work in marinas and boatyards should be familiar with the requirements of these two sections and marina owners and managers should discuss the specifics when contracting for their services

NFPA 70 – NEC (National Electric Code) Checklist
Electrical System Inspection

Daily Inspection

  • Are all lights working properly on power pedestals

  • Are there any non-approved marine electrical cables

  • Is there any non-approved marine electrical lighting

  • Are there electrical cords or is there equipment in the water

  • Are any electrical cords in contact with sharp edges that may produce chafing

  • Are any electrical components exposed anywhere among the marina’s electrical equipment

  • Is there charring at any power post outlets

  • Is there charring at any power post outlets

For Power Pedestals:

  • Are there any signs of melting around the terminations

  • Are all plates holding terminations in good working condition

  • Are all doors and door springs in good working condition

  • Are all cable brackets in good working condition

  • Are all water connections in good working condition

  • Are all units mounted securely

  • Are there any signs of arcing under receptacle doors

  • Are all receptacle plates and breaker covers in good working condition

  • Are there any signs of arcing around the terminations

  • Are there any signs of melting around the terminations

  • Are all plates holding terminations in good working condition

Monthly Inspection

For Power Pedestals:

  • Are all cables supported properly to avoid damage/chafing

  • Are equipment housings in good working condition

  • Are all doors in good working condition

  • Are all locking mechanisms operational

  • Are all units mounted securely

  • Are there any signs of cracking at mounting locations

  • Are equipment housings in good working condition

  • Are all meters working properly

  • Are all counters visible

  • Are there fogging issues with counters

  • Are all communication connections and weatherproof covers in good condition

  • Are there any signs of cracking at mounting locations

  • Are there any signs of rust around the receptacles or breakers

  • Do you have signs posted at Fuel Dock instructing boaters to turn off all power while fueling

Annual Inspection

For Power Pedestals:

  • Are all cables approved for installation in a wet location

  • Is the electrical wiring in good working condition

  • Are grounds installed properly

  • Are emergency electrical disconnects readily accessible and clearly identified

  • Such disconnects have a sign stating EMERGENCY PUMP SHUTOFF in 50 mm (2 in.) red capital letters

    ( ^ Associations of Marina Industries)

Enjoy the peace of mind by hiring Transworld Electric to handle all your electrical marina and boatyard needs. Our licensed electricians are highly skilled professionals serving Charleston and Mount Pleasant, SC and the surrounding areas since 1987.

By |2019-06-28T10:54:52+00:00June 25th, 2019|Safety and Energy Saving Tips|Comments Off on Marina & Boatyard Electrical Safety
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