Most tenants love having a swimming pool at their disposal, especially in Los Angeles, where we can use it almost year-round. Unfortunately, there’s a sinister side to pools, too; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 10 people drown every day in the U.S., and two of these 10 are kids 14 years old or younger. If you have recently taken over property management duties at an apartment or home, and that property includes a pool or hot tub, follow the tips below to help keep your facility safe:
Know Your State and City Codes
Don’t assume the pool or hot tub areas are up to code. Take the time to make sure you are following local, state and federal rules and regulations regarding your pool and spa. The National Swimming Pool Foundation includes handy links to swimming pool and spa codes from all 50 states.
Have the Right Equipment
Since many pools and spas at apartments or condos are unsupervised, you’ll want to be doubly-sure that these areas have the proper safety equipment. Make sure there is a fence around the pool or spa that can only be accessed by adults. Inspect the fence regularly to be sure it’s not showing signs of rust, and test self-closing doors to be sure they actually work. The fence should prevent curious kiddos from gaining access to the water—so make sure there are no missing links where a child could climb through, and that nothing has been placed up against the fence that would enable a child to climb over.
In addition, place life-saving equipment like reaching poles and swim rings where everyone can reach them. If the property includes a hot tub or spa, make sure both the pump and the cover are in excellent shape and are working properly. A spa cover in good condition should fit over the top of the spa, be lightweight (as opposed to water-logged) and be free of any rips or tears. For more about spa covers and safety, visit HotTubWorks.com.
Train Your Employees on Water Safety
Make sure that you and the rest of your staff are trained and certified in water emergency response and first aid, including how to do CPR on both kids and adults. You can find a class near you at the American Red Cross website. Hold meetings with your staff to go over water safety and what to be on the lookout for as they walk by the pool or spa.
Post Water Safety Rules
Clearly post the water safety rules in a place where both kids and adults can see them. If the signs are faded and rusted or handmade, purchase new, professionally made ones. In addition to posting the hours of the pool or spa, you can also include reminders about no running, leaving pets at home, watching kids at all times and, of course, a gentle reminder to get out and use the restroom when nature is calling.