One of the most popular features in any community association is the swimming pool. It is an attractive amenity for just about every type of resident, from empty nesters to young families. But pools are also the source of significant liability and safety concerns for the association and its residents. According to theconsumer product safety commission (CPSC) each year approximately 200 children under the age of 14 die in pool accidents.
The causes of these deaths vary and can be the result of malfunctioning equipment, parental negligence, poorly enforced pool rules or even the lack of safety devices. As spring time approaches, it is a good opportunity to review pool safety practices to ensure for a happy, safe pool season.
Interestingly, there are an incredible number of resources available to community associations to ensure a safe summer swimming season. In fact, the CPSC has a “Pool Safety Campaign” that provides information and best practices to all types of pool operations. Best practice recommendations include performing an annual inspection of equipment, safety devices, and pool rules are a great part of any plan.
One of the primary recommendations is an annual equipment inspection. This ensures that filters, sumps and drainage devices are operating properly. It also allows the association to understand if any required safety devices such as recently required anti-entrapment devices are installed and functioning properly. An inspection of perimeter fencing to ensure its effectiveness is also a recommended benchmark.
Beyond equipment, ensuring safety in and around the water is another important step. Marking sure residents know if there is a lifeguard on duty, what the pool rules are and what they need to do to ensure that their children or family are informed about being safe in the water.
Association boards can look to their qualified local counsel, their professional pool vendor and even to the CPSC website for the latest information on pool safety. In fact the” Pool Safety Campaign” offers a host of tools from safety videos, to free pool safety door hangers to sample pool rules that residents and pool operators can use to make the swimming season as safe as possible. That information can be found on the CPSC website at this link.
As your maintenance team pulls back the pool cover, make it a point to ensure that you and your residents are empowered with the best information possible to make it a safe swimming season. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.