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Lightning Safety at Indoor Pools
On your way to the pool, you see a flash of light that bursts from the clouds. You continue to venture to the rec center thinking an indoor pool won't close for a thunderstorm. You arrive at the center, swim suit on and towel in hand. Then you hear, "I'm sorry, but the pool is closed because lightning has been spotted in the area."
The National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI) reports there are some 22 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes in the United States annually. Lightning will follow the path of least resistance through the air and along or through the ground. This means that if lightning strikes the ground near an indoor pool, it may lead into the building via low resistance conductors. How is that possible? The underground water pipes, gas lines, electric and telephone wiring all connect to the pool creating a metallic network that extends outside of the building.
There have been no reports of deaths from lightning while using indoor pools and that is good news. However, there are many reports of lightning deaths in bathtubs as well as reports of injuries to people indoors with direct and indirect contact with water (kitchen sink, laundry room, bathroom, etc.) It seems reasonable to NLSI that the potential for lightning incidents with people in indoor pools does exist. In fact, some have reported the main circulation pump had been destroyed, injuries to employees touching electrical panels and visible lighting inside of the pool area.
The following recommendations for lightning safety at indoor pools are available from LightningSafety.com
- Suspend activities when lightning is within 6-8 miles and move to safe areas.
- Safe areas should be inside the building in a dry area. Not safe areas will be any area near electrical conductors, electrical equipment, metal objects (such as lifeguard stands or ladders) and water (including showers).
- Wait 30 minutes after the last observed lightning to resume activities.
12 + 1 = Valuable Membership
Buy 12-Month Membership, Get Additional Month Free
From June 1, 2010 through May 31, 2011, purchase or renew a 12-month membership to the six Virginia Beach Recreation Centers and get an additional month for FREE. And don't forget: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation has no joining fees and there are no monthly fees.
Our Virginia Beach Recreation Centers are an economical and convenient option for your fitness needs, and provide fun and accessible programs for kids. All six centers feature an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, game room, gym and great activities!
The 12+1 membership promotion is available only to 12-month memberships (resident and non-resident) purchased between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. Six-month, 3-month, or memberships bundled with our Out-of-School Time programs are not eligible for this promotion.
If you're looking to save a little extra money, purchase or renew your membership in June. Membership rates will increase slightly starting July 1. View membership information.