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 Consumer 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 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!
ABOUT ELITE POOLS & SPAS
For over 20 years, Elite Pools & Spas have been providing new pool construction, pool remodels, pool repair and weekly maintenance services for Houston, League City, Pearland, Clear Lake & surrounding areas.
Elite Pools & Spas of Houston can work with almost any budget and give you a personalized vision of your very own backyard paradise. Whether you need new pool construction or remodeling services, Elite Pools provides the same quality and attention to detail to all of their projects. As a Hayward Warranty Station, they offer energy efficient pool products for your pool & spa.
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Ready to get started on your own backyard oasis? Contact the Houston pool builder experts at Elite Pools and Spas today!