If you want to make a splash this summer, you’re not alone. Some 7.4 million homes, yards, and patios across the nation currently sport swimming pools. Are you considering adding a pool for your recreational pleasure? If you are, the following steps will help ensure your pool is protected, making swim time safe and secure.
Check local laws – Laws vary by town and county, so check to see if what you are adding requires any permits or must adhere to any codes. And note: a fence, and possibly a deck, may be required for all pools in your area.
Contact your insurance agent – A pool increases your liability risk. You should make your insurance company aware of your addition and discuss proper coverage. If your homeowners insurance policy includes the minimum of liability protection, you may want to increase this amount. Also consider replacement coverage in the event your pool and other outdoor items are damaged by a storm.
Practice pool safety – Taking a few precautions can help prevent that liability claim. Try the following tips:
- Install a fence. Even if your area doesn’t require a fence, add one to keep small children from conducting dangerous unsupervised explorations of your pool. Over 3,400 drownings occur across the country each year. You don’t want one of these to happen in your backyard.
- Clear hazards. Glass bottles, toys, and other items can be dangerous if not properly stored. Radios and electrical devices are also potential dangers. Keep these items clear of the pool area or safely tucked away when not in use.
- Be prepared. Keep a first aid kit and ring buoy at the ready. Learn water rescue techniques and CPR. Ensure all guests know how to swim before entering your pool.
- Use nonslip surfaces, especially on the deck directly around the pool and on the diving board. And mark depths in a prominent way.