A backyard swimming pool can be a great addition to anyone's home. It gives you a place to relax, hangout, and enjoy family and friends. It can also help you improve your heath, by allowing you the ability to add a water component to your exercise regime. Unfortunately, if you do not take certain precautions, it can also be a very dangerous place. Because of this danger, you could find yourself subjected to unbearable grief, in addition to a costly lawsuit. While you may not be able to prevent every accident that has the potential to happen, there are some steps that you can take that will help to reduce the probability of the accident taking place at your home. Here are a few of these steps to get you started.
Understand The Danger
One of the best ways to reduce the chances of an accident taking place is to fully understand the real possibility that one could occur. By acknowledging this risk, most people are far more likely to take the necessary steps to reduce it.
Swimming pool accidents present very staggering statistics. Each year drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injuries that result in death, and swimming pools are the leading place that submersion injuries occur. On average, between 2011 and 2103, there were approximately 4,900 people each year who were involved in a pool or spa related accident that required the attention of emergency department personnel.
Fence It In
When you own a pool, safety has to be first and foremost. One of the safest ways to secure your pool is by placing a fence around the entire perimeter of your pool. This is a great way to reduce the chances of someone being in the pool without your knowledge or your permission. It is estimated that by fencing your pool on all sides, you could reduce the potential of drowning accidents by as much as 83% over fencing that uses your home as the fourth side of the fence.
While you will want to choose a fence that will work with your landscaping decor, invest in materials that will make your fencing difficult for children and pets to breach. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that all fencing be at least 4 feet high and that it should have outward opening self-closing gates that also self-latch.
Make sure that you check your local zoning regulations and ordinances to ensure that whatever fence you choose is in compliance with the requirements in your area. For example, in Arizona if your pool fence includes the adjacent residence, it is only required to be 4 feet high, but if it does not include the residence, it is required to be 5 feet high.
For additional safety, consider installing gate alarms on your fence that will sound or alert you when the gates are opened. Not only will this increase the safety of your pool, it will also increase your peace of mind.
Mark It Clearly
One of the things that you often see on public pools that you do not see on many private pools are markings that designate the depth of the pool at any given point. By making sure the depths of your pool are clearly marked in the inside, as well as on the perimeter of the pool, you increase your pool's safety and reduce your chances of being sued. This could potentially keep someone from attempting to dive or jump in an area that is too shallow, as well as entering an area that is too deep.
In addition to adding depth markers to your pool, you may also want to consider adding additional signage that displays your pool rules, as well as any emergency contact information that may be needed. There may even be signage required by your state or municipality that will not only help to keep you safe, but may help to prevent you from being sued.
Unfortunately, nothing you do will completely prevent accidents from potentially happening in and around your pool. If someone suffers an injury and believes that you may be at fault, contact a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. They will be able to help you explore your legal options that may minimize your exposure to what could possibly be a very difficult and expensive lawsuit.