What better place is there to hang out during a hot summer day than poolside? If you are fortunate enough to have a backyard pool, you know the pleasure of being able to step out of your house and into its cool surroundings. But with the enjoyment of a pool comes the responsibility of securing it.
Pool security is incredibly important because pools present a huge legal risk to the owner. While laws vary, in most cases you can be held liable if an injury or death occurs at your pool, even if the injured person was trespassing on your property. In fact, most pool accidents happen when the pool isn’t actively being used, which is why securing your pool area is critical.
Here are a few ways you can secure your pool area:
- Surround your entire pool area with fencing. Different states and counties have different height requirements, but four to five feet is usually the minimum.
- Use a self-latching gate with the latch set high enough to be out of reach of children. Secure the latch with a lock.
- Cover the pool whenever it is not in use, preferably with a custom-fit safety cover or electronic cover that hinders easy removal.
- Use motion detectors that will trigger an alarm if movement occurs in the pool area when it is not in use.
- Install a security camera to detect unauthorized visitors. A camera with smart technology to be accessible through your phone is an excellent way to keep an eye on your pool area, too.
- Consider investing in a pool alarm. There are different types which detect motion on either the water surface or underwater to trigger an alarm.
- Keep a life safety floatation device near your pool at all times.
- There’s safety in numbers. Do not allow anyone to use the pool unsupervised, and never leave children unattended.
- Keep a telephone and emergency numbers posted near the pool.
Take your pool security seriously, because the onus is on you to protect others from harm. Posting signs that renounce your liability (“Swim at your own risk”) cannot protect you from a lawsuit and will likely not hold up in court. While no specific thing will protect you should an accident occur, the more precautions you take, the more you can prove you did your due diligence to keep your pool area secure.