- No comments
Even with all the hassle involved with pool ownership, there is nothing like taking a cool dip on a hot day. Enjoying the company of friends and family while barbecuing and swimming on a beautiful summer evening is also worth the price of pool ownership. However, with that comes responsibility. As the weather entices everyone poolside, remember that a pool is also a liability, one that you need to be smart about.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) posted an excellent primer about pool liability and safety. If you haven’t already done so, they suggest letting your insurance company know that you have a pool, since it will increase your liability risk. Pools are considered an “attractive nuisance” and it may be advisable to purchase additional liability insurance. Most homeowners policies include a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability protection. Pool owners, however, may want to consider increasing the amount to at least $300,000 or $500,000.
The III recommends the following safety precautions:
– Install a four-sided barrier such as a fence with self closing gates to completely surround the pool. If the house forms the fourth side of the barrier, install alarms on doors leading to the pool area to prevent children from wandering into the pool or spa unsupervised. In addition to the fences or other barriers required by many towns, consider creating several “layers of protection” around the pool, in other words setting up as many barriers (door alarms, locks and safety covers) as possible to the pool area when not in use.
– Never leave small children unsupervised—even for a few seconds. And never leave toys or floats in the pool when not in use as they may prove to be a deadly temptation for toddlers trying to reach them who might then fall into the pool.
– Keep children away from pool filters and other mechanical devices as the suction force may injure them or prevent them from surfacing. In case of an emergency, know how to shut off these devices and clearly post this information so others can do so too.
– Ask if pool users know how to swim. Learners should be accompanied by a good swimmer. If you have children, have them take swimming lessons as early as possible. Do not allow anyone to swim alone.
Also very important is a check with your insurance professional to be sure you are fully covered should something happen.