May is National Water Safety Month! We want to celebrate Florida’s love for swimming and water-related activities, but we also recognize the need for ongoing education of the public regarding water safety. Did you know that Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths in children ages 1-4? You may think your pool is safe. However, in the time it takes to answer a phone call, a child can wander into the pool and drown. The good news is that drowning deaths are preventable. By following these pool safety tips, you can ensure your pool is a safe place for your family and friends all season long.
Use Multiple Layers of Protection
- Install self-closing self-latching gates on ASTM approved safety fencing
- Install a pool alarm
- Install certified pool safety covers
- Don’t swim without anti-entrapment safety covers on drains, suction fittings, and jets. Many anti-entrapment drain covers have expiration dates. Make sure your drain covers are in compliance with federal and state regulations.
Follow Pool Safety Rules
- Designate an adult to watch swimmers without distractions
- Ensure all children know how to swim. Swim lessons are available through your local YMCA, Red Cross, and other professional organizations.
- Learn CPR. It can be a lifesaving intervention for a near drowning victim.
Prevent Electric Shock Drowning
Electric shock drowning or ESD can occur anywhere electricity is provided near water, and it is entirely preventable. ESD is the result of the passage of a typically low level AC current through the body with sufficient force to cause skeletal muscular paralysis. This renders the victim unable to help himself or herself while immersed. To prevent ESD:
- Hire a licensed electrician to ensure proper grounding and bonding of your swimming pool and equipment.
- Faulty pool lights can cause electricity to flood the pool. Have your light inspected by a professional for integrity and ensure a ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI) is installed on the light circuit.
- Get swimmers out of the pool at the first sign of thunder or lightening.
Hire a Licensed Pool Contractor
The State of Florida requires a license to build and repair pools. Hiring a licensed professional ensures that you are hiring someone with the necessary education, experience, and insurance. Licensed individuals must pass a competency exam and a criminal background check. Non-licensed contractors may not be insured, leaving you liable for any injuries or damages. There may be little recourse if you have issues with non-licensed contractors since the state isn’t governing their actions.
We understand that choosing the company or contractor to repair, remodel or service your pool can be difficult. You can verify that an individual or company license is current, active, and covers the work to be done by visiting www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
We hope these water safety tips have been helpful. For more information on swim safety you can visit FloridaPoolPro.com/safety. Wishing you and your family a happy and safe swim season!