Summer Pool Safety
As winter turns into spring, your swimming pool might not be at the forefront of your mind, but the summer months will be here before you know it. No matter if you’re a private homeowner or the operator of an apartment complex, school or country club, you have a responsibility to make your aquatic recreation area as safe as possible. Public and private pool facilities often have much more complex issues to face than home pools, due to meeting regulations, communicating to diverse groups of patrons, and liability and risk issues. While you can station a lifeguard by the water, that’s only one part of an effective approach. Here are some other water safety tips to keep your swimmers safe throughout the entire season.
Why Secure Your Pool?
Before discussing how to implement good pool safety practices, you might wonder why they’re so important. If this is your first season with a swimming area, it’s likely your insurance company will require you to take preventative measures. This might seem like a nuisance until you take a look at some sobering statistics:
- The United States averages more than 3,500 accidental drowning deaths every year, which equates to nearly 10 fatalities every day.
- Children aged 14 and younger account for 20 percent of unintentional drowning deaths.
- More than half of drowning victims who survive require extended hospitalization.
- Drowning is the second only to birth defects as the leading cause of death for children under age 4.
- A small child can drown in as little as 30 seconds.
Pool Safety Tips
While the water can be a dangerous place, the safe use of a swimming pool can provide hours of exercise and relief from sweltering summer days. Now that you know the statistics, consider taking these water safety tips, below, to mind before opening your swimming area.
- Install Fencing
One of the most effective components of a swimming pool safety program is the installation of a fence around the entire area. While there is no federal law requiring this type of construction, several states have enacted legislation, and most insurance companies require fencing before issuing coverage. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends four-sided fences instead of using the building to make up the fourth side. Gates should have the ability to lock.
- Keep the Deck Clear
Another one of the most important water safety tips is to keep the deck area free of clutter. It might seem convenient to keep toys, coolers and other items close to the edge, but these create tripping hazards that could send someone unintentionally into the pool. It’s fine to have chairs and loungers in the area, but position them far enough away so a spill won’t cause anything more severe than a skinned knee.
- Learn CPR
Quick action is essential during a life-or-death situation, and your response to a drowning could make the difference. While lifeguards receive training in CPR, why not make sure more people on your staff know this lifesaving technique as part of your education on water safety tips? According to a study by the Cleveland Clinic, 54 percent of Americans claim to know how to perform this first-aid action, but only 16 percent understand the correct procedures. The Red Cross and local safety organizations can provide helpful information on classes available in your area.
- Post Clear Rules
It’s hard enough for a lifeguard to keep an eye on every swimmer, so provide some backup by posting warnings in and around the pool area ; that can include clear pool rules signs, ‘No Running’ signs and ‘No Diving’ signs . Not only can they offer reinforcement for swimmers, but they can also spell out a clear definition of right and wrong if you need to remove a guest who is misbehaving.
- Frequent Inspections
You can implement water safety tips and buy the latest lifesaving equipment, but it won’t mean much if you don’t keep everything in good working order. Make sure you’re ready to respond to an emergency situation by arranging regular pool safety inspections by experienced professionals. Don’t wait for an incident to occur to find out a component isn’t functioning properly, as you might be too late.
- Have Procedures Ready
A drowning is a panic situation that can overwhelm anyone, which is why it’s essential to put response procedures in place. When a disaster strikes, you need your staff to snap into action immediately, and that only happens if everyone knows exactly what to do. Come up with a plan, teach it to employees and conduct drills to ensure a thorough understanding.
Get Prepared for Pool Season – Including Posting Effective
Now that you know a few important water safety tips, you’ll be better prepared when the temperatures start rising and swimmers show up for a dip. A drowning can occur in the blink of an eye, so why not take every possible step to keep your guests safe?
Pool safety signs are a critical part of keeping swimmers safe and reducing risk. When it’s time to equip your swimming area with appropriate warnings, turn to Clarion Safety Systems for a full lineup of pool safety signs that reinforce your rules and regulations. Our signs use state-of-the-art symbols, color and messaging to communicate the most serious water safety hazards like no other signage on the market today. Choose from our tabletop placards, cones, poolside signs, front gate signs and locker room signs – available in the formats and languages you need! To learn how to further minimize your risk, reach out to us today. Whether your project is for your pool, beach or waterpark, we can help you meet your safety and liability requirements with best practice warnings.