In Florida, it is common for almost every house in the neighborhood to have a pool, as well as a lanai. These extended areas of the home offer a great way to cool off in the heat, and around the pool is the perfect gathering place for friends and family to grill out, have birthday celebrations, adult parties, and more. If your children have grown up in Florida, most likely you started them on swimming lessons early and they feel very comfortable in the pool, ocean, bay, or any body of water suitable for recreation.
And while everyone may be extremely comfortable around the pool, whether it is at your home or that of someone else, there is always the risk of drowning, and safety precautions should always be in place. Swimming is a great way to get exercise, and seems like a carefree way to spend an afternoon for sure—but we’ve all heard the horror stories too. Vigilance around the pool (or any other body of water, especially with children) must always be exercised.
Pool maintenance is a must as well, and as the State of Florida requires all pool owners to have at least one safety feature in place, these are the priority for maintenance. You must have at least one of the following:
- Approved safety cover – this must be strong enough to hold a child’s weight, and cover the pool properly without areas that sag or are left open.
- Barrier – many agree that a fence is the best idea for safety around a pool. It must be at least 48 inches high.
- Alarms – these devices alert you if anyone is heading into the pool area and can lead to a greater sense of security for homeowners with pools and small children around.
Any one of these items that is not in good working order could lead to potential catastrophe for anyone who falls into the pool or enters it without adult supervision. It is not enough just to have any swimming pool cover either. It must be a safety cover that is approved and fully functional, as well as installed and maintained properly. Any barrier must be maintained so that it remains exactly that, without areas where anyone could slip through—including children, but also elderly citizens who could be unaware of their surroundings and fall into a pool and drown. Alarms must be tested regularly and in working order on both doors and windows.
Other very important areas to maintain are:
- Pool pumps – because these can be extremely hazardous to swimmers if not functioning properly (with the ability to trap children or adults underwater), make sure the pool pump is up to date and equipped with a safety vacuum release system.
- Pool chemicals – if not measured correctly, they can lead to discomfort for swimmers. They are also meant to sanitize the water properly to alleviate any chance for illness. Such chemicals also take care of your pool itself, preventing corrosion.
- Debris – make sure any unwanted objects are removed from the pool to prevent hazard to your swimmers.
- Electrical system – the electrical system and all electrical devices must be tested regularly and functioning properly to avoid any chance for electrocution.
- Deck areas – these areas must be cleaned and maintained regularly to avoid buildup that cause them to be extra slippery for swimmers and sunbathers.
If you or your child have been injured in or around a swimming pool due to the negligence of others, please call Heintz & Becker for a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. We handle all types of Florida personal injury cases, and our law firm has established an impressive record of verdicts and settlements. If you have been seriously injured, call us now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!
All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.