Orlando, FL— 4/25/2017 12:48:06 PM
Nothing feels nicer and more relaxing than spending your funday with family and friends while cooling off those high temperatures in the amazing customized pool you just built in your very backyard.
If you have kids, we can almost asure you they will soon become very popular and as an added value to your investment, you may now keep your kids at home, rather than always looking for places to go. As a parent you have just become their hero. It is indeed great exercise to keep everyone in the family healthy while having lots of fun.
There are an estimated 7.4 million swimming pools and five million hot tubs in residential or public use in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Well, this is Florida. Not only we know water, but we would like to claim ownership of the concept. According to the Florida County Property Appraisers Office over one million of our state’s property owners have pools.
As you may know, residential swimming pools pose a significant drowning hazard, especially for young children.
The study conducted by the FCPA revealed that Florida has the highest drowning death rate in the nation for children under age 5.
Nobody wants to take part on these terrible tragedies, yet over 60% of these drowning deaths take place in our residential swimming pools every year. Sadly, lapses in adult supervision and lack of pool safety features have been identified as reasons contributing to these preventable accidents.
As much as we will not suggest insurance will protect you from such irreplaceable loss, it is important to discuss a few details about your homeowners insurance coverage as your liability risks increase.
Most homeowners policies include a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability protection. Pool owners, however, may want to consider increasing the amount to at least $300,000 or $500,000. You may also discuss the possibility of purchasing an umbrella liability policy. For an additional premium of about $200 to $300 a year, you can get $1 million of liability protection over and above what you have on your home. If the pool itself is expensive, you should also have enough insurance protection to replace it in the event it is destroyed by a storm or other disaster. And, don’t forget to include the chairs, tables or other furniture around the pool deck.
However, we would like to emphasize on the importance of preventing fatal accidents and protecting your loved ones as well as visitors and friends.
The following precautions are strongly recommended:
- Install a four-sided barrier such as a fence with self closing gates to completely surround the pool. If the house forms the fourth side of the barrier, install alarms on doors leading to the pool area to prevent children from wandering into the pool or spa unsupervised. In addition to the fences or other barriers required by many towns, consider creating several “layers of protection” around the pool, in other words setting up as many barriers (door alarms, locks and safety covers) as possible to the pool area when not in use.
- Never leave small children unsupervised—even for a few seconds. And never leave toys or floats in the pool when not in use as they may prove to be a deadly temptation for toddlers trying to reach them who might then fall into the pool.
- Keep children away from pool filters and other mechanical devices as the suction force may injure them or prevent them from surfacing. In case of an emergency, know how to shut off these devices and clearly post this information so others can do so too.
- Ask if pool users know how to swim. Learners should be accompanied by a good swimmer. Do not allow anyone to swim alone. If you have children, have them take swimming lessons as early as possible. Most communities in Central Florida have programs such as the YMCA that provide these services.
- Check the pool area regularly for glass bottles, toys or other potential accident hazards. Also, keep CD players, radios and other electrical devices away from pools or nearby wet surfaces.
- Limit alcohol use around the pool, as drinking alcoholic beverages negatively impacts balance, coordination and judgment—and its effects are further heightened by sun exposure and heat. The CDC reports that alcohol use is involved in up to half of adolescent and adult deaths associated with water recreation.
- Clearly post emergency numbers on the phone, in the event of an accident. Keep a first aid kit, ring buoys and reaching poles near the pool. You may also want to consider learning basic water rescue skills, including first aid and CPR training. For additional information, contact the American Red Cross.
ENJOY LIFE RESPONSIBLY!