Often I am asked to inspect a home that has an in-ground swimming pool. Too often I have to report that the pool or property is missing some or all of its required safety features.  Legally, I have to report anything that is considered a life safety issue.

The National Drowning and Prevention Alliance makes this statement regarding drowning related deaths in 2012: “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely campaign released information stating that based on compiled media reports, 137 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa between Memorial Day and Labor Day this year.  In addition, 168 children of that age required emergency response for non-fatal incidents in pools or spas during that period.” (Reference:  http://blog.ndpa.org/2012/09/summer-2012-drowning-reports-for-pools-and-spas/)

Florida leads the country in drwoning deaths of children ages 1-4 years old. (Reference: http://www.waterprooffl.com/) In the majority of these cases, the accidents occurred at home – in their own swimming pool. Generally adult supervision is present but momentarily distracted.

Many parents have safety netting or baby fencing for protection, but where is it? Often times the answer is: rolled up in the garage.

A great many homes have door and window alarms properly mounted, but they don’t work. Why? Because the batteries have been removed as the beeping is annoying. The annoying beep is intended to save a life, so let it do its job as you purposely paid for it to do.

Pools need to have permanent safety barriers in place – PROTECTION ALL THE TIMES. Click here to read the Florida state requirements and penalties for residential pools. If you have a home alarm, by all means be sure that you keep it in working order and use its functions to protect your family. Floating emersion alarms are also a great idea though some homeowners find them expense. They are certainly not as expense as the pool was and the investment is certainly worth a child’s life and less than a lawsuit. Pool equipment needs to be bonded, as does all metal around the pool (i.e. fencing, screen enclosures, aluminum window frames, etc.) Pools need to have a handrail at the shallow end of the pool and ladders at the deep end.

We recommend adding and naturally, maintaining all pool safety devices whether you have children or not. If neighboring children or children visiting you are injured, you subject yourself to legal ramifications; protect the kids and protect yourself.

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