The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there are 7.4 million swimming pools and five million hot tubs in residential or public use in the United States.
For the homeowner with a swimming pool, a pool accident can be devastating in many ways. Drowning isn't by any means the only safety concern, though. From minor scrapes to biological hazards, there are several safety concerns that go with pool ownership.
To help you avoid problems and have an accident-free and liability-free summer, here are three areas of pool safety tips for homeowners.
Install a Pool Fence Alarm
Guidelines for a safe pool fence include:
- Have no more than four inches between vertical slats.
- Be at least four feet high and have a self-closing gate with a latch above the reach of children.
- Supply no easy footholds or handholds for climbing.
- Keep furniture or other objects that can be used as a climbing aid away from the fence.
Even if you did not give permission for someone to be there, you may be held liable for accidents that occur on your property. A pool is considered an “attractive nuisance,” the legal doctrine that can hold a homeowner responsible for injuries on their property to children who cannot understand the risks involved in their actions in trespassing. Securing your pool with a locked fenced is one step you can take to help you reduce that risk.
For added pool safety, it's also a good idea to have a pool alarm installed. These are triggered when they detect surface motion in your pool. They're a great way to safeguard against children falling in without your knowing. Pool alarms also can notify you if an animal that could damage your pool has entered the water.
Set Up & Enforce Your Pool Rules
Here's a list of general rules to consider:
- Deflate or lock up flotation toys when not in use.
- Keep clear access to first-aid kits.
- Don’t allow tricycles or other riding toys around the pool.
- Keep toys and other tripping hazards away from the pool edge.
- Never allow radios or other electrical appliances near the pool.
- Forbid diving in a pool that's not deep.
- Prohibit horseplay or roughhousing around the pool.
- Don’t allow running on the pool deck.
Pay Attention to Other Pool Safety Concerns
- Are all pool suction fittings and plumbing grates secured in place?
- Is the shutoff for the pool's pump easily accessible in an emergency?
- Are chemicals securely stored in a locked location?
- Are chemicals clearly marked in original containers?
- Are you familiar with proper procedures if a chemical accident occurs?
For water safety help for your home’s pool, you can contact your local Red Cross.