Thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in pools each year. Whether you have an Olympic sized in-ground pool, a more modest aboveground pool, or a delightful backyard spa, pool security should be a top priority. Many people don’t realize that having a pool creates additional legal liabilities for homeowners. Others don’t know that a few simple precautions can avert a tragedy.
The Hidden Dangers in Your Pool
There are several ways that people can be injured or killed in a pool or spa:
- Near-fatal submersions
- Diving mishaps
- Illness from improperly treated water
- Chemical injuries
Children are most at risk around a pool. According to the Consume Product and Safety Commission, inadequate fencing and lack of supervision are the primary causes of drowning and submersion accidents for very young children; in fact, 75% of those killed or injured in drowning and submersion accidents are between the ages of 1 and 3.
That’s why experts recommend you install safety fencing around your pool or spa, or find other ways to make it inaccessible to unsupervised children and pets. Pool covers can sink and wrap around someone who falls on top of them, but some pool covers are designed to stay afloat to prevent drowning. There are also inexpensive battery-operated floating devices that monitor the surface of the water; when something or someone falls in, an alarm goes off, letting everyone know that there may be a problem. Routine chemical treatment of your pool and spa water and properly storing pool chemicals can also help you avoid many dangers.
It’s a good idea to call your homeowner’s insurance company to talk to them about pool liability coverage. They can help you determine what security steps are necessary to be in compliance with your policy, and may be able to point out any federal, state, or local ordinances regarding pool safety. In general, your liability will be based on your relationship to the swimmer:
- Invitee – a guest who has your permission to be in your pool
- Licensee – a professional who is in or near your pool for business reasons, such as a repair person
- Trespasser – someone who is in your pool without your permission or consent
The first two categories are usually covered by your insurance, while you are unlikely to be held responsible for injuries suffered by a trespasser. That said, if you have knowledge that people are climbing your fence or otherwise accessing your aboveground pool or spa without your permission and you do not act to stop them, they may be considered invitees in your state. It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities in that case.
By making yourself aware of your liability and taking proactive steps to improve your pool security, you can save yourself a lot of worry. Even better, you will keep your family and friends safe from serious harm and your own wallet safe from lawsuits!
Aqua Pool Co. is the largest pool and spa supply store on the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast! Our Gulfport showroom features 12 above ground pools, hot tubs, and spas and our selection of pool and spa chemicals is second to none. We also offer pool equipment, free water testing and water chemistry consulting to ensure your pool, spa and/or hot tub is safe. Check out our vast selection pool toys and games, so the fun never stops. Don’t let our large pool store fool you! Aqua Pool Co. is family-owned and operated, and every member of our staff is here to serve you with the personal customer service you deserve. Give us a call at (228) 832-9909 or come by and see us at 11296 Lorraine Rd., Gulfport, MS 39503 today!