Most of the country is covered in snow, but it’s still (fairly) warm in Louisiana. That means that many Louisiana homes still have their pools open and running. Taking a quick dip, even in the winter, is a pastime that many pool owners enjoy. Most people associate pools with harmless fun, but they can also pose serious liability risks. A guest slipping and falling near your pool could lead to a major lawsuit. Not to mention accidental drowning, which is the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in young children.
The burden of responsibility for securing a pool or spa falls on the owner. Guests, swimmers or even trespassers may have grounds to file suit if they are injured on your property. Fortunately, taking some simple precautions can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents on your premises.
- The first precaution should involve the entrances to the pool. Any doors that lead to the water should be equipped with childproof locks and alarms that have reset features.
- The pool should also be surrounded by a fence that is at least five feet tall and difficult for children to climb. Make sure that the slats are spaced close enough together that a child could not squeeze through them. Remove any objects around the outside of the fence that could be used to climb over it, like chairs, tables and outdoor toys.
- Many pools have covers that are designed to deter drowning accidents. Install such a cover and keep it in place when the pool is not in use.
- Pool chemicals are responsible for a startling amount of injuries every year. Store your pool chemicals where children cannot access them. Follow the directions carefully, and use the chemicals only for their intended purposes.
- Before allowing guests to enter the pool, make sure that they have received swimming lessons or are already strong swimmers. Children should always be supervised by an adult.