A pool is an awesome place to be in the Chicago heat. Backyard pools can be extremely peaceful and relaxing, and they are a great way to get some exercise and spend time with your family. Unfortunately, however, they can also be extremely dangerous if they are not used properly or if children swim unsupervised.
As a pool owner, you may be surprised to know that you can be liable for accidents that happen at your pool. In fact, you may even be liable when pool accidents occur while you are not at home as well. You may even be liable if someone trespasses and uses your pool without permission!
This legal liability is obviously a serious concern for pool owners. Keeping the area safe is a priority for those who want to avoid liability for pool accidents. So, how can you make your pool safe and minimize your legal exposure?
Keeping the Pool Safe While You Are Away
Part of the reason that trespassers use pools while the owner is away is because they are so easy to get into and because the pool owner likely will not notice if their pool has been used. In Illinois, you are required to have a fence that is at least 3.5 feet tall around your pool if you have an in-ground pool. The same rule does not apply to above-ground pools, however. Regardless, having a fence around your pool can do a lot to keep out unwanted guests. Keeping the fence locked will help as well. There may be additional fencing guidelines for your particular area as well.
Some pool owners go as far as to drain their pool if they are going away for a long period of time, but for short trips, completely draining the pool can be a nuisance. Instead, you may want to consider using a pool cover. Pool covers not only keep out debris, but they will also deter visitors as well. The covers that are difficult to take on and off are especially effective for this purpose.
Keeping the Pool Safe While It Is In Use
Keeping the pool safe while you, family, and friends are using it is important as well. Use the following tips to help cut down on pool accidents.
- Use non-skid mats. Having non-skid mats around the pool edge can be extremely helpful. Slip and fall accidents are common around pools, and they result in serious injuries, including drowning in some situations.
- Keep a close watch. The number one reason that accidental drownings occur is because parents or guardians were not watching their children closely enough. Be sure to remain close to the pool while children are swimming and stay focused on what is happening. Injuries can happen quickly! The best way to supervise is to get in there and play yourself—make it a family affair!
- Learn CPR. One of the reasons that serious injuries occur around the pool is because no one can provide emergency services when they are needed. Taking a First Aid and CPR class can help you respond appropriately in an emergency.
- Have a phone handy. You will need to call for help quickly in the event of an emergency. Having your cell phone readily available can help with this.
- Make sure everything is in good working order before you swim. Diving boards, ladders, and slides can cause injuries as well. Be sure that everything is fastened properly and is not too worn out before you swim.
Pool accidents may still happen, even if you take every precaution. If you or a loved one has been involved in a swimming pool accident, set up a free case evaluation with Disparti Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers, P.A. by calling 312-635-5063.