As Indiana weather heats up, some residents are undoubtedly preparing for summer and time spent with family and friends around a backyard pool. While this should be an enjoyable experience, it is important to be aware that pools also present the possibility of real danger. A negligent property owner may allow hazardous conditions to exist that ultimately lead to tragic accidents. These property owners may be found responsible under the theory of premises liability for conditions that are unsafe.
Pool owners must act with the utmost care in ensuring that their pools are safe for invited guests. Property owners who fail to do this, and whose actions lead to injury on their property, may be held legally responsible for their negligence.
There are many ways that pool owners can act to create a safe pool environment. The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), recommends the installation of a fence at least four feet high around a pool's perimeter to prevent children from having unwanted access to a pool. Additionally, the CPSC recommends the installation of self-closing and self-latching gates to help decrease the likelihood of a young child unknowingly gaining access to a pool. Furthermore, there should be life-saving equipment, such as reaching poles or life rings, readily available should a rescue become necessary. The CPSC also recommends that pools have appropriate drain covers installed.
These are just some of the ways that property owners can increase the safety of their pools. Frighteningly, almost 300 children under the age of five drown every year in swimming pools and spas, and many more require emergency room treatment after submersion injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pool accident due to dangerous property conditions or the actions of a negligent property owner, you may wish to consult with an attorney regarding your rights.
Source: poolsafely.gov, "Steps for Safety Around the Pool," accessed June 10, 2016