Baby, it’s hot, hot, hot! Temperatures in many areas of the nation are soaring to 90 degrees and above — so scorching that everyone just wants to relax in a pool. As enjoyable as they can be, swimming pools also present many potential hazards.
Safety always should be the top concern of anyone who owns or uses a pool because accidents can happen quickly and easily. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 390 deaths a year on average are attributed to drowning in a pool or spa. Not only is the water dangerous, but injury, and even death, can result from diving board mishaps, drain entrapment and slip-and-fall accidents.
POOLS ARE ESPECIALLY DANGEROUS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN, BUT YOU CAN ENSURE SAFE FUN BY DOING THE FOLLOWING:
- Empty portable pools when not in use, or cover a larger pool.
- Always supervise children in a pool.
- Teach your children to swim, float and the basics of water safety.
- Don’t leave toys in the pool because that attracts children.
- Check regularly for potential perils like glass, electronics or slipping hazards
- Limit alcohol use around pools, especially during periods of excessive heat.
- Post rules for pool use and list emergency numbers.
As a pool owner, you should be present when anyone is using your residential pool, no matter if it’s an inflatable kiddie pool, above-ground pool or in-ground pool. This way, you are there to prevent accidents as much as possible by ensuring visitors act carefully. It’s also important to keep your pool up to date so there are no defective parts, missing safety equipment or other problems that could be hazardous to swimmers.
Even if a person is trespassing and using your pool without permission, as a homeowner, you still could be held liable for any injury resulting from an accident. If you don’t follow the laws for security and upkeep of your pool, you could be held liable for injuries caused by your negligence.
Make sure your insurance agent knows you have a pool so that liability coverage can be added to your home policy. Some insurance carriers exclude pool liability coverage, so your agent may have to help you obtain separate coverage. A good practice is to carry $300,000-$500,000 liability and additional umbrella coverage if you own a pool.
If you want to delve deeper into this subject, the Insurance Information Institute just completed its Pool Safety Campaign and offers educational videos on pool and spa safety at www.iii.org.
Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM, CBIA and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at www.southgroupgulfcoast.com, (228) 385-1177 or firstname.lastname@example.org.