Summer is finally approaching — and for many people, that means heading to a pool. Most folks will take advantage of the public pools available — but a few lucky people get to enjoy a pool owned by a friend or relative instead.
However, pools are dangerous places. One wrong move can quickly lead to devastating injuries — or even drowning. As such, pool owners are expected to take steps to warn people of the dangers they face. Owners are also expected to minimize those dangers whenever possible — to do anything less is a type of negligence.
How can you tell if the pool owner has safety regulations in mind and measures in place? Each state is a little different, but here are some of the most important regulations for North Carolina:
Fences around pools need to be 4-feet-tall or taller. There are numerous additional fence requirements, depending on what material and style you use for its construction.
Access gates have to be self-latching, self-closing and lockable. Latches lower than 54 inches from the ground have to be controlled by a key or combination. That’s to prevent children, teenagers and other trespassers from easily accessing the pool when no one is around.
Every pool owner should have ground rules regarding the behavior of guests. That includes things like “no drinking while swimming” and “no running, pushing or shoving.” It’s also necessary for owners to actually enforce the rules — owners who turn a blind eye to occasional rowdy behavior are risking a lot of liability.
Owners are expected to comply with local and state laws regarding pool signs. At a minimum, there should be:
- Signs warning about the absence of a lifeguard, if that applies
- Signs giving emergency instructions
- Signs listing off the pool rules
While sign laws are geared toward public pools, private owners may want to consider the use of similar as an additional measure against liability if an accident does happen.
If you get injured while at a pool this summer, take a good look at the items listed above. If you think the pool owner failed to act responsibly and that failure contributed to your injury, an attorney can help you get the compensation you need to recover.
Source: signs.com, “State-by-State Guide to Pool Signage and Fencing Requirements,” Dustin Heap, accessed April 26, 2018