Out of Harm’s Way

Swimming Pool Liability

Posted on Chubb  ‘Risk Converation’  by Ray Crisci

Swimming pools offer opportunities to relax, get some exercise and even throw a party, but owners should know they also represent a liability exposure. Property owners are responsible for keeping their pools safe and secure, and failure to do so could result in injury or death.

Drowning is a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4 and the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Incidents can happen quickly. In a study of swimming pool accidents in California, Arizona and Florida by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, most of the children involved in swimming pool submersions or drowning accidents were between the ages of 1 and 3, nearly half were last seen in the house before the accident, and most had been missing for five minutes or less when they were found.

In addition to drowning and submersion injuries, people can be seriously injured if they slip and fall on wet tiles, trip over uneven concrete or jump off the diving board improperly.

If you own a pool, make sure it is protected with four-sided fencing that is at least 4 feet high. More than half of all swimming pool drownings among young children could be prevented by four-sided fencing that completely separates the pool from the house and the yard, according to the CDC.

If you own a pool, here are some things to consider:

  • Are you hosting pool parties? If so, do you have a lifeguard?
  • Does your pool have a diving board?
  • Do you allow neighbors to use the pool when you are away?
  • Do you allow your teenage children to invite friends over to the pool when you are away?
  • Do you maintain the pool and its surroundings to prevent people from tripping on cracked concrete or slipping on wet tiles?
  • Do you keep life preservers on hand?

Swimming pools are a great way to while away the hot summer months. To ensure that the fun doesn’t stop, take steps to make the pool area safe for everyone.

Ray Crisci is worldwide excess liability product manager for Chubb Personal Insurance.


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