If you’re a property owner, and if you have a pool, you need to understand how to keep yourself out of legal trouble in case of an accident. Knowing what hazards must be avoided, how to ensure you can handle any injuries, and what you need to do to stay out of trouble in case of an accident, all become drastically important. If you’re a first-time homeowner, however, doing so can feel intimidating. To ensure you’re ready for the task, here is a guide that covers six crucial safety tips for premises liability and private pools:
1. Never Leave Children Unattended
Most importantly, it’s incredibly essential that you never, ever, ever leave children unattended when they are swimming. Not only does this put them in danger, but it makes it so that you’re legally liable if something happens to them. Be sure you have more than one adult watching the pool at any given time if possible, as this will ensure you’re able to keep the children as safe as possible.
2. Limit or Ban Diving
Diving-centric accidents are some of the most common that happen around pools every year. Especially when it comes to teens who feel that they are invincible, unfortunate and avoidable diving accidents can occur. Headfirst dives are especially troublesome and lead to the most accidents. If you have a shallow pool, diving should be straight up banned to ensure everyone’s safety and to keep you out of legal trouble. If you have a pool that’s set up for diving, ensure anyone diving knows where it’s safe to dive and make sure that they know how to dive in a safe, proper manner. Otherwise, serious injuries that could become your responsibility are more likely to occur.
3. Install All Appropriate Safety Barriers
Especially if children are going to be around your pool, it’s recommended that you surround the pool area with a four-to-five foot protective barrier. This will help ensure children do not wander to the pool when they escape your attention. Additionally, this can help protect you legally if other people, or their children, sneak onto your property. This can be a costly step, but it’s critical to keeping you safe from legal trouble and can even be done in a way that will make your pool incredibly stylish as well. If you find yourself in a tricky situation, contacting a premises liability lawyer immediately becomes essential.
4. Warn Swimmers About Drains
Although it may seem like it rarely if ever happens, instances of drains in swimming pools causing serious injury (or even death) are much more common than you might think. Whether clothing or hair is caught in a drain, or a small child finds themselves fully (or partially) sucked into a drain, these accidents can be incredibly devastating. The past accidents have been harsh enough that the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was passed to ensure regulations keep pool drains safe and efficient. To be doubly sure that everyone stays safe, however, you must inform all those who swim in your pool about the drain locations and the hazards that they can present.
5. Take a CPR Training Course
Knowing basic CPR is one of the most responsible things you can do as an adult. If you’re a property owner (and especially if you one a pool), the skill can help you stay out of legal trouble and liability as well. While you hope that you’ll never have to use the CPR you’re trained in, it’s still essential that you have the basic skills to save a life in the case of a serious accident on your property or in your pool. If you have teenage children, getting them CPR certified is highly recommended as well, as this will help them assist you in the unfortunate case that you’re severely injured and require CPR to keep you safe.
6. Ensure Swimming Children Have Had Swimming Lessons
While basic, this tip is incredibly important. When a child enters a pool without knowing how to already swim, the chances of an accident occurring increase drastically. If a friend is thinking of bringing a child over to swim, ask them ahead of time if they’ve been trained to swim to avoid awkward situations. You must follow this rule if you want to keep everyone at your pool safe and avoid legally troublesome situations.
Keep Yourself Protected
Staying out of trouble and avoiding legal liability for accidents on your property is crucial for every homeowner. Especially if you own a pool, the chances for you to find yourself in trouble, or for injuries to occur, are drastically increased. Thankfully, with these six safety tips, you’ll have a fantastic shot at staying fully protected.
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