Apartment Swimming Pool Safety Tips to Keep Your Residents Safe
Memorial Day usually involves hot dogs, apple pie, and a cool dunk in the swimming hole. And the apartment community pool becomes particularly inviting as residents, friends, and families mingle for an afternoon of fun in the sun.
Pools and spas have always been a staple in a property’s amenity portfolio, and when used and administered properly can provide hours of enjoyment and long-lasting memories for residents. And now that the holiday that ushers in the summer has arrived, property owners and managers should not only ensure that the waters are sparkling clean and sanitary but also that they are safe.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that each year 383 children younger than age 15 drown in pools and spas, and that there are more than 5,000 emergency room visits by kids each year with submersion injuries.
Because apartment community pools are often unsupervised, property owners should not only promote safety and awareness to residents but also practice it. Owners and operators should follow local, state, and federal regulations to ensure the safety of their facilities and to minimize drowning and injuries that can otherwise turn a pool party into a tragic event.
To help make pool and spa usage a pleasant and safe experience for your residents, here are a few helpful tips for property owners and managers:
Have the Appropriate Equipment
- Fences or barriers – a physical obstacle that surrounds an outdoor pool or spa so that access to the water is limited to adults – should be installed and checked for reliability. A successful pool barrier prevents a child from getting over, under or through it to gain access to the pool or spa.
- The pool or spa should be checked to ensure compliance with federal and local laws and regulations.
- Safety drain covers compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act should be in place.
- Pool and spa pumps should be checked to ensure proper operation.
- Life-saving equipment such as life rings and reaching poles should be easily accessible.
- Are there water safety rules posted in a visible area for adults and children to review?
- If your property has no lifeguard, does your staff periodically monitor the pool or spa when it’s in heavy use or during special events?
- Do you recommend to residents who use the pool to bring their cell phone in case of emergency?
Train Your Staff in Water Safety
- Property staff members should be trained and certified in first aid and emergency response.
- Staff members should know how to perform CPR on children and adults. Training should be regularly updated.
- Understanding the basics of life-saving – for any staff member on site – can mean the difference between life and death during a pool emergency.
Additionally, the CPSC offers a number of useful pool and spa safety tips, including a video series on pool safety to help pool operators assess their level of compliance with the requirements of the Virginia Graham Baker Pool Safety Act (VGBA).
By practicing these and other water safety tips, property owners and managers can further assure that an afternoon at the pool or spa for residents doesn’t become a tragic event.