The County of San Diego publishes a “Swimming Pool Operator’s Guide” that anyone operating a Swimming Pool for the use of their residents or the general public should become very familiar with. We have all heard of too many children, especially toddlers, who have drowned in swimming pools. Purely aside from the moral obligation to provide a safe and secure environment for all swimmers, there is also a legal responsibility when it comes to pool safety.
The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) focuses on six primary factors when inspecting a pool for “risk factor violations.”
- Improper water chemistry, pH, chlorine etc.
- Unsafe suction outlets that could hold someone underwater
- Ensuring the pool recirculates and meets the minimum water turnover requirements
- Improper storage of dangerous pool chemicals
- Safety hazards such as slippery or broken decking, missing handrails or ladders, unsafe or improperly stored pool covers, inadequate lighting, depth or safety markers
- Unsecured pool enclosure
Controlling the Pool Safety Risk Factors
- There should be a designated person on duty and responsible for the safety and security of the pool area environs, especially during peak seasonal times. Consider a private security company to monitor your pool. North Coast Patrol offers Pool Monitors to control access and ensure rules are enforced.
- Education is key – all residents must be educated as to acceptable and unacceptable behavior and safety requirements. Running, for example, must be strictly prohibited as this is one of the leading causes of injuries.
- Keep and periodically review maintenance, operation and training logs and records.
- Contact your security company or property management company to report rules violations or unsafe conditions.
Use All Four Layers of Protection for Your Pool
- Fencing should be at least 5 ft. high, four-sided and non-climbable. Isolation fencing is best.
- Fence gates must be self-closing and self-latching. The latches should be too high for a child to be able to reach.
- All doors and windows leading to the pool should send off an alarm when opened.
- Pool covers should be approved safety devices.
Doing everything possible to ensure Pool Safety isn’t an option to owners of swimming pools, whether the pool is in their backyard or for the use of members of the Homeowner’s Association, residents of an apartment complex, mobile home park, or for the use of the general public. At North Coast Patrol, we’d be pleased to meet with you to discuss the safety and security of your pool and property.