As much as swimming pool laws and regulations seem universal, specific sets of swimming pool regulations apply to different types of pool owners and pool owners from different states. Knowing the specific swimming pool regulations that apply to a swimming pool can reduce the pool owner’s liability and also go a long way in the prevention of disastrous swimming pool incidents.
A residential homeowner is not required by law to have insurance coverage for his swimming pool, although one is recommended since disastrous pool incidents can occur without warning. However, insurance coverage for public swimming pool owners is a necessity that is enforced by the local swimming pool regulations of any state. This applies to swimming pools owned by commercial enterprises, clubs, hotels and municipalities.
Failure to have an insurance cover for the said swimming pool owners effectively revokes their right to operate and open their doors to the public. This is because, a typical public pool insurance policy not only covers liability exposures but also encompasses pool property, which includes the actual facility, the lifeguards, pool safety equipment and even sexual molestation cases in some instances.
Although technically not all public swimming pools will require their patrons to sign some waivers before getting in the pool, some states make this compulsory, especially in the presence of swimming pool facilities such as diving boards and slides. Residential pool owners are not required by law to do so but can also use waivers to mitigate liability.
Swimming pool regulations concerning the fencing and the installation of barriers around the pool are often specified within the State’s, city’s or county’s local regulations and entail all the specifics including the measurements and the material.
Trained Poolside Personnel
Not every state requires a swimming pool to have a life guard on duty every time the pool is operational. This usually depends on the public pool’s main source of income. Swimming pools that charge their patrons directly are not obligated to have lifeguards on duty at all times.
However, public swimming pools that are administered using public funds will often require a lifeguard on duty or the necessary warning signs put in place. In any case, most states do not allow public swimming pools to operate without a trained lifeguard on duty.
In almost all the states, public swimming pools are supposed to instate a limit on the age of children who can swim without supervision. The hours of operation must also be clearly posted in sight of everyone to prevent people from coming to the swimming pool when no personnel are available. State law may also touch on issues such as the lifeguard to swimmer ratio, the availability of an emergency line at the poolside and the level of certification of the staff.
Taking the necessary precautions in addition to adhering to these simple poolside regulations can be instrumental in mitigating liability for the pool owner in the event a tragic swimming pool-related incident occurs. Be familiar with your state’s regulations in addition to the specific guidelines that apply to the particular type of swimming pool you own.