Mo. Requires Safety Regulations, Codes for Private Docks

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OSAGE BEACH - This month marks the one year anniversary of three lives that were lost due to dock electrocutions. Missouri public officials are working dock safety codes and regulations into residents' lives. These officials include several fire districts, the Missouri State Highway Patrol's water division and Ameren Missouri supervisors.

"Everyone who owns a dock around the Lake of the Ozarks area is required to have a permit from Ameren Missouri," said Jeff Green, Ameren shoreline manager and supervisor. "This goes for anyone with an existing, new or even modified dock."

Ameren told KOMU 8 News that any dock with electricity is required to have an additional permit from participating fire districts around the Lake of the Ozarks. Ameren said it has the ability to issue these permits around the lake area.

The highway patrol said the inspections are a task each dock owner must take care of on their own terms.

"The inspections are all done voluntarily," Highway Patrol Cpl. Dean Bartlett said. "Each county has its own set of inspection codes."

Bartlett advises dock owners who are unsure of what is required for a permit to go ahead and contact the fire district for the dock's particular county.

However, if a dock is outside of a fire district, the highway patrol recommends owners to either contact Ameren for a free inspection or an official electrician.

"Once you get a dock inspected, it's important you continue future inspections," Green said. "It's incumbent upon dock owners, with the changing of the season, to do much more than an annual inspection. [I would recommend] dock owners to do so weekly or even right away depending on when you're going to use the dock."

Bartlett said so far, no electrocutions have occurred around the Lake for 2013.