For many homeowners, putting in a swimming pool is the realization of a longtime dream. The chance to swim, play, and just unwind in the water without having to leave their backyard is only one of the many perks.
Like many other recreational amenities, a pool is considered an “attractive nuisance,” defined as dangerous conditions on the property created by the owner who should have known the condition would attract people – primarily children – and potentially cause harm.
Steps pool owners can take
What many do not account for is the risks and dangers associated with a pool, making the dream more of a nightmare for owners who can find themselves liable for accidents on their property. Failing to reasonably foresee potential dangers for young children can be costly.
Taking reasonable, common-sense precautions can go a long way to prevent injuries to these curious trespassers. They include:
- Ensuring that pools are constructed and installed within strict building and sanitary codes
- Installing a fence that is at least four-feet high and difficult to climb with a locking gate and possibly connected to an audible alarm
- Leaving the pool free of water when not in use
- Placing a safety cover over the pool
- Maintaining a well-lit pool area
- Keeping walkways free of debris and well-maintained without defects
- Moving slides, ladders, toys, and recreational equipment away from the pool
- Keeping items near the pool that would aid in a rescue
Pool owners are liable for injuries, even if a child entered the property without consent. Taking every precaution will not overcome a childlike curiosity. That may include purchasing insurance for not only the pool and related equipment but also liability coverage should an accident occur.