With continued travel restrictions in place, many Canadian homeowners are looking to take their summer vacation plans to their own backyards. For some, this includes opening their swimming pool for the season or installing the pool they’ve always dreamt of. While a backyard pool can provide endless hours of summer fun for all ages, there are important safety precautions to consider before diving in.
Whether you’re a seasoned pool owner or are looking to install one this year, we’ve put together a list of important pool safety tips for a summer of safe outdoor fun.
1. Install a gated fence around your pool and lock it when not in use
A locked fence around your pool can help prevent serious accidents, especially if there are young children nearby. Some municipal by-laws actually require four-sided fencing around private swimming pools. Check with your local municipality to understand what your requirements and responsibilities as a pool owner are.
2. Regularly check that your pool is in good working order
Ensure that everything in your pool is in good shape and working properly, such as the pump, diving board, slide, ladder and stairs.
3. Keep the pool perimeter clean and well-maintained
The area around your pool, including pool decks, should be clear of debris and other obstacles that could pose a slip and fall hazard – especially when wet.
4. Avoid alcohol consumption near and in the pool
Be cautious with the use of alcohol near the pool, even when the pool is not in use. This will help avoid injuries and accidents – alcohol impairs your reaction time and judgement, making accidents worse.
5. Create a list of pool safety rules and review them regularly
Remind all family members and guests of the pool safety rules and post them in an area where they can be easily reviewed by everyone.
6. Ensure there is adult supervision at all times
Children should never be left in the pool unsupervised. Even adults should refrain from diving in without having another person around to help, if needed.
7. Keep lifesaving flotation devices close and easily accessible
These devices should be stored nearby for emergency use. Everyone using the pool should know where they are and how they can access them before taking a dip.
8. Ask pool contractors for pool service insurance
Every contractor who services your pool should provide you with a written copy of pool service insurance when asked. Most pool service companies will have their own insurance policies to cover work done on your pool and other associated risks – such as damage to your property or job-related injuries. Review your pool service provider’s insurance policy closely to know what they’re responsible for if something goes wrong.
9. Ensure you have the insurance coverage you need
Just as the addition of a pool typically increases the market value of your home, it also impacts your home’s replacement cost. Check with your insurance provider to ensure you have the coverage you need now that your home includes the addition of a swimming pool.
10. Follow your insurer’s guidelines
iability insurance is included in your home insurance policy and can protect you if someone is hurt on your property. Connect with your insurer to understand what your requirements and responsibilities are to ensure your home insurance policy covers the increased liability of owning a pool. Not following your insurer’s guidelines could negate your liability coverage.
Considering installing a swimming pool, or have questions about how your current swimming pool impacts your home insurance? Contact your OTIP insurance broker at 1-800-267-6847 to discuss your coverage options or call 1-866-561-5559 to get a quote for home insurance.
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