It’s getting hotter and that means it is pool time! That’s great – you can cool down, get exercise, and have a little fun. However, a pool also comes with responsibilities.
Luckily, it is simple to keep your pool safe and enjoyable. Just follow this pool safety refresher and enjoy the soothing water.
Secure the Area
Having a pool on your property increases risk. It attracts children like a magnet, even when you’re not at home. Consequently, it is important that the pool is surrounded by fencing and equipped with a self-latching gate and lock.
Pool owners are responsible for the safety of those using the pool and can be held liable if they fail to take adequate measures to prevent unwanted or unsupervised access.
Check the fence height requirement in your area, because it can vary greatly between regions. Lock the gate whenever you won’t be in the pool and deck area. Consider installing a pool alarm if someone decides to hop the fence to go for a convert swim.
Inspect the Pool & Deck
Take a walk around the pool to check for wear and tear. Replace any damaged hoses, skimmers, and the vinyl liner if it is ripped. Test the pool ladder to make sure it can support weight.
Check all railings, fencing, and gates to ensure they’re in good working order. Also inspect the deck for loose boards or tiles.
Your pool should also have an anti-entrapment drain cover. If not, install one. Otherwise, you will be in violation of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act and could be held liable if someone is injured or drowned.
Watch Over Swimmers
Don’t leave children alone in the pool or deck area. Always ensure a more experienced swimmer is nearby.
Don’t focus on things such as reading a book or listening to music while swimmers are in the pool. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the U.S., and third for death in children under 14 years.
Keep those drinking alcohol away from the pool. According to the CDC, 70% of water recreation deaths involve alcohol.
Clear the pool if it starts storming, especially if there’s lightning in the sky. Always remove floating objects from the water after using the pool. These items can be a big temptation for small children. Items left strewn around the pool deck are a tripping hazard – pick them up and store them away.
Develop Swimming & Life-Saving Skills
It is always best if everyone knows how to swim. Life-saving and swimming classes are readily available and affordable.
If there’s inexperienced people in the pool, ensure there’s always at least one person close at hand with CPR and first aid training.
Buy Life-Saving Gear
If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to buy the safety gear you need for the pool. This should include a life preserver or ring and a rescue pole or hook.
Little ones without adequate swimming skills should wear a life jacket, water wings, or a life preserver. Don’t forget about a first aid kit near the pool area.
Store Chemicals Safely
Pools require chemical treatments to keep them clean and safe. Regrettably, many of these chemicals are toxic to humans and animals and highly-corrosive. Always store them in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place with a locked door.
Use a GFCI for Electrical Devices
Electricity and water don’t mix. Plug your outdoor music system and other devices into a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Don’t lay extension cords across walkways for everyone to trip on.
Check Your Insurance Coverage
A pool is considered an “attractive nuisance” that increases risk and property value. Discuss your coverage with your insurance agent.
They will ensure you have sufficient liability and property damage coverage to protect you and your property well. An affordable umbrella liability policy can provide additional liability coverage if your homeowners insurance policy limit is too low.