Even though most homeowner do not consider their pools while the weather is cold – and the recent cold snap in parts of Florida is unlikely to make anyone crave an outdoor swim – any homeowners with a pool are still responsible for preventing pool accidents and drowning. Pool accidents are a major cause of injuries to minors and children, especially.
Children can easily fall into a pool or drown in the water. Even a pool that has been correctly covered for the winter can pose a drowning risk if curious children enter the pool area. Children who illegally access your pool area can still become killed or injured if they are able to crawl under a pool cover or fall into a pool. Even small animals can become trapped in your pool and die. If it has been a while since you have looked at your pool area, you will want to have a look.
Even in the winter, it is a good idea to check your pool area at least once a month and after any bout of severe weather. Your pool area should be secured with a tall fence and a gate with a good lock. However, keep in mind that children can scale or climb over fences, so the fence alone may not be adequate to prevent forced entry. Always carefully check your gate and lock when inspecting your pool area to check for signs of tampering or wear. Check all parts of your fence to ensure that it is sturdy and not in need of repairs. If you notice signs of tampering, report the crime at once and ensure that the area is secured to prevent further break-ins.
If you have a cabana or pool house, check the area carefully for signs of forced entry or recent residents. Anyone staying at your pool house or cabana illegally can have access to your pool and home and can cause a great deal of legal problems.
Many homeowners find that an alarm system provides the best peace of mind. When used in addition to a good fence and gate, an alarm system can alert you whenever there is a forced entry at your pool area. However, if you have an alarm system you still need to check this system to ensure that it has not been compromised or reset. You also still need to check the pool area carefully to ensure that no one has found entry around the alarm system. If you decide to install an alarm system, keep in mind that such systems may be offered at a discount at this time of year. Look for a good quality system that offers alarms even if a smaller child enters your pool area. This may create some “false alarms” when animals enter your pool area, but this type of system will keep you safest.