Pool Safety Tips to Protect Your Family and Friends

Pool Safety Tips

Enjoy your pool, beat the summer heat, but do it safely.

Summertime in California is special. Long days at the beach and afternoons relaxing at the pool. No wonder so many people come to live in sunny California. I know it's not for the California home insurance policies! :-)

While it’s true, the weather here is pretty darn good all year long, there is something extra special about the summer.

During my Esurance days, living in Northern California, we had a small kidney bean shaped pool in our backyard. The first summer in that home was when my two oldest children learned to swim. We have fond memories of that summer, of that home, and playing with the kids in the pool.

While our home here in Southern California doesn’t have a pool in the backyard, we do have a community pool, and we still get many opportunities for new summertime memories.

In order to keep all the memories positive, it’s best if you practice good pool safety etiquette. The reality is that the pools is a hazard, and there are real injuries that happen … and some even result in death.

According to Pool Safely the CDC reports that drowning is the #1 cause of unintentional death for children age 1-4 years. In fact, the annual average for drowning deaths for children between 0-14 years from 2011 – 2013 390 per year.

In the State of California, we have the highest incidence of death as reported by USA Swimming.

Injury while enjoying your pool is not what you intend, so make sure that your family and guests are always safe.

Here are a few pool safety tips to help you get the best, and safest experience with your home pool.

Pool Safety Tips: Poolside supervision and safety equipment tips:

  • You want to prevent easy access to your pool when there isn’t adequate supervision. To keep others from getting into your pool without your understanding, make sure you have a secure fence with a locking entrance. The fencing should surround the pool and deck area and it should have self-closing and self-latching gates.
  • Equip your door, gate or pool with an audible alarm to alert you if someone enters the pool area or falls into the pool while it is unattended.
  • Never leave young children unattended in the water. In fact, you shouldn’t leave them alone in the pool area. All less experienced swimmers should be accompanied by a summer who has live-saving skills. It is even good to set a rule that no one swims alone.
  • Diving should be prohibited unless a specific area of the pool is designated for safe diving. Water depth and diving-restricted areas should be clearly marked.
  • Make sure there is adequate life-saving equipment in the pool area, including life preservers and a rope with life-saving rings, a reaching pole or rescue hook.

Pool Safety Tips: Pool maintenance safety tips:

  • Keep chemicals safely stored away from the pool area. Follow all storage and usage instructions recommended by the pool chemical manufacturer.
  • Be sure electrical devices, including outdoor entertainment systems, are away from pools or wet surfaces. When using electrical devices outdoors be sure to plug them into a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter). Keep the pool area clear of glass bottles, toys or other potential accident hazards.
  • Inspect the liner. Rips and tears can appear undetected at the top of the lining.  Check for signs of wear and tear in areas where pipes or other items may have penetrated the liner (e.g., skimmers, hoses, etc.).
  • For above ground pools, check metal supports for rust or deterioration. These may indicate areas where the pool could rupture or a person could be injured.
  • Check the deck for safety hazards (e.g., protruding nails, loose boards, etc.).
  • Ensure your pool has compliant anti-entrapment drain covers. Inspect them regularly to confirm they are not broken or missing. Visit the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) for additional information.  This act applies for all outdoor and indoor structures intended for swimming or recreational bathing, including in-ground and above-ground pools, hot tubs, spas, whirlpools and non-portable wading pools.

Conclusion

This summer season you'll have extra fun if you review these pool safety tips. You'll have the confidence that you've created a safe environment for your friends and family. You'll also feel great because you will have made your home insurance agent happy in the knowledge that you're practicing great home safety and loss mitigation practices. :-) Enjoy!

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