Swimming pool safety tips for homeowners and parents

Updated February 27, 2024  |   Published June 23, 2022

It’s officially summer, which means many New Englanders are headed to their backyards to enjoy time in the pool. While swimming is a treasured summer activity, did you know that an average of 390 deaths per year are attributed to swimming pool related accidents? As the temperature outside continues to rise, stay safe with our tips for homeowners and parents.

 

Secure the swimming pool area

Owning a pool means doing the proper due diligence to make sure your pool is secured. This is especially important for families with small children or pets.

Install fencing
Putting a fence around your pool with a lockable gate helps in keeping unwanted visitors out. It also lowers the risk of potential accidents, such as drowning. According to Water Safety USA, about 70% of children who drown were not expected to be near the pool or in the water.

Install an alarm
Installing an alarm acts as an extra layer of security, notifying you of  unwanted visitors near your pool.

Keep the pool area clear
Get rid of objects around the pool. This prevents tripping, injuries to bare feet, or objects falling in – and on top of swimmers.

Remove access points
Removing the ladder from the pool when you aren’t using it can help prevent children, or unwanted visitors, from entering and using it.

 

Practice water safety

When enjoying your pool, it’s always best to observe basic water safety practices.

Never swim alone
Using the buddy system can lower the risk of an accident, especially when someone else isn’t there. Even experienced swimmers are at risk of drowning. Don’t go in alone!

Make sure there’s adequate safety equipment in the pool area
According to Safewise, adequate safety equipment includes:

  • Pool covers, which can keep the pool clean and people safe
    • Choose a cover with ASTM F1346-91 certification to ensure it won’t collapse under weight
    • An alternative, more affordable option is a pool safety net
  • Safety rope lines to help identify the deep end of the pool
  • Rescue equipment, including:
    • A ring buoy and throwing rope
    • A life hook
  • Anti-entrapment drain covers
  • Safety vacuum release system
  • Animal/pet safety equipment

Get CPR training
In a research article written by Drs. Joanna Shi-En Chan, Marie Xin Ru Ng, and Yih Yng Ng, they found that CPR was performed in 68.6% of private pool drowning accidents.

 

Keep up with pool maintenance

If your pool is properly maintained, there is less risk for injury.

Check your chlorine regularly
Contamination of your pool water is easily preventable through regular checking of your chlorine levels, and taking proper measures.

Check the functionality of your pumps and drains often
If your pumps and drains aren’t properly maintained, hair, small objects, or even limbs can be caught and trapped under water.

Check your electrical systems often
Electrocution in a pool can lead to serious injury, or even death.

Inspect the liner periodically
Rips and tears in the liner may appear below the surface of the pool; you should do your due diligence and inspect the liner carefully.

For above ground pools, check metal supports for rust or deterioration
Rust spots may indicate areas where the pool could rupture or a person could be injured.

 

Insure your swimming pool

In addition to preventative measures, it’s always a good idea to insure your pool so that in the unfortunate event of an accident, you’ll be protected. There are risks associated with not insuring your pool:

  • Any damages to your pool would come out of pocket.
  • Any medical expenses for injuries done on your property, including your pool, are also your responsibility.

Purchasing insurance

Not all property insurers will cover a home with a pool. We recommend doing some research and shopping around before settling on a policy. Our agents can assist you in finding coverage. Coverage may depend upon the type of pool.

  • Above ground pools are usually considered part of your personal property, and covered as such. However, if there are permanent structures attached to it, like a deck, it cannot be claimed under personal property. Personal property insurance covers things you can take with you when you move. Therefore, attaching a deck to your pool limits its movability in the future, removing its eligibility for personal property coverage.
  • In ground pools are usually considered part of other structures coverage. This type of coverage is usually set at or around 10% of your dwelling coverage, however you can potentially purchase more to cover larger claims on your pool, depending on the insurer.

Personal umbrella insurance is not required to own a pool, but is highly recommended. Personal umbrella insurance provides a greater financial cushion should something happen to your pool, or to someone using your pool.