Swimming Pools and Liability

Owning a swimming pool is a lot of fun. It’s great exercise and inviting guests to swim is another one of the perks of a pool. However, pool ownership exposes you to significant liability. You need to take certain steps to protect yourself. If you are a new pool owner, consider consulting with an experienced attorney so that you understand your responsibilities.

It’s easy to develop a sense of complacency about your pool, especially when it comes to children. Many people assume that if kids can swim, they aren’t susceptible to serious pool injury. However, unsupervised children can easily get into serious situations. Drownings can happen fast and other people may not notice the signs of a drowning person.

Supervision is the key to preventing accidents and reducing your liability. When anyone is using the pool, a sober adult who is trained in rescue and first aid should be present at all times. Purchase life-saving equipment and keep it near the pool. If there are more than three people in the pool, additional adults should be supervising the swimmers. Never let people who have been drinking alcohol swim. You are responsible for making the environment safe for all swimmers so it’s important to be vigilant. Take a first aid course before you allow others to swim in your pool.

It’s also important to take steps to protect neighbors to reduce liability. You are responsible for protecting your pool area. You must have a locking gate and fence surrounding the swimming pool. It should be at least four feet tall. The gates must self-close and the lock or latch should be placed high on the gate so that children can’t reach it. A secure pool cover will also help prevent accidents. You can purchase pool alarms that will alert you when the water is disturbed. This will prevent unsupervised use of the pool.

You need to have appropriate insurance to protect yourself due to your liability. Your homeowner’s policy should include coverage for pool-related accidents. Don’t get the minimum coverage. Purchase at least one million dollars’ worth of coverage. It is a good idea to get even more coverage to protect yourself since your liability is significant.

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