It’s time to finally open your home pool! It’s the season for family gatherings, barbecues, impromptu gatherings, pool parties, graduations, weddings, and so much more. As easy as it is to get lost in all the fun, as a pool owner, you’re still responsible for the safety and security of your guests no matter their ages. In order to maintain the safety of your guests and family, while mitigating your liability, these are a few ways you can protect yourself legally if you own a home pool in Ohio.
While your homeowner’s insurance may cover some home-related injuries but it’s best to seek additional coverage if you’re a pool owner. Speak with your insurance agent to find out which policies are best for you. For many people, an umbrella policy that covers everything from your home to your cars is sufficient. No matter which policy you choose, you need insurance.
Fencing for Your Pool
Summer doesn’t just mean hanging out at home all season. It’s likely that you plan to go on a few trips. Whether you travel near or far, there will be days where you and your family are away from your home for an extended period. Even uninvited guests can potentially sue if they get injured on your property because of the pool. Installing a four-sided fence that separates the pool from the house will help to relieve some liability. In Ohio, fences should be about six feet high and separate the pool from any other play areas in the yard. You can add additional warning or locking systems like automated locks or notifications that indicate entry.
First Aid Kit
Accidents happen but not every accident is a life-threatening one. Keep a first aid kit nearby to prevent minor accidents from becoming major ones. It’s also smart to keep scissors to cut hair, clothing, or a pool cover if needed. Keep a cell phone near in case a serious emergency does occur, along with flotation devices and a reach pole.
Check Your Local Safety Requirements
While the state law in Ohio for home swimming pools may be somewhat generic as with requiring a fence, signage, etc. the city and municipal laws are subject to their own. You may be in compliance with the state of Ohio but not your city or your HOA. For some cities, the fencing height requirement may differ from the state’s. They may also disagree on what is considered an above ground pool vs in-ground and pool size limits.
Call Rapier & Bowling this Summer
No matter what you’ve heard before, as a pool owner, you are responsible for ensuring a safe environment for all family and guests on your property—invited or not. If you run into liability issues with your pool, give Rapier & Bowling a call to discuss how we may be able to help. PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain