SAFETY QUESTION: What if my AlienBee or different strobe fell into a pool?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Ed Shapiro
Ed Shapiro Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: SAFETY QUESTION: What if my AlienBee or different strobe fell into a pool?

I am a commercial photograher but I have long experience withthe technicalities of electronic flash.  For a number of years I also ran a business specializing in repairs, modification and custom builds of flash gear.

The 12 or 9 volt primary input voltage to you equipment is meaningless in this  question in that the input voltage  and current to the flash tube is significantly higher. Electronic flash  equipment harbors lethal voltages that can cause electrocution, severe burns, nerve damage and secondary personal injury if misused or mishandled.

If the unit were to fall into the swimming pool it may simply short out with a bang but there is a nasty  list of waht "ifs".  Waht if it is  a saltwater pool where the conductivity of the water is greater. Waht if someone suddenly  attempts to save and grab the equipment. Waht if it comes in contact with a metallic object in the pool, l like a ladder or a part of the filtration system. Waht if the capacitors do no short out and suddenly discharge and the unit remas LIVE and WET with a residual charge!

In the repair business I have seen some pretty bizarre freak accidents that caused harm.

I have done many assignment in and aroud water. My clients are swimwear manufacturers and retailers, swimming pool designers and installers, marine, boating,  and fishing suppliers, water sport associations,  industrial water system companies etc.  I never leave lighting gear unmanned and untethered.  Eiter the equipment is kept at a distance where it could not reach the water even if it were to tip over or an assistant is employed to stand by and control, direct and safeguard each  unit.

Even handling the wet gear after is is retrieved can be dangerous.

Damage to the equipmet itself is an insignificant  cost compared to a personal injury lawsuit or worse a wrongful death due to negligence charge again you!  Be safe no sorry!

Ed Shapiro- Commercial and Portrait Photographer. Ottawa, Ontario Canada

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