Pools are part of daily life in North and South Carolina. Despite a general knowledge of pool safety, pool owners as well as visitors should be aware of the potential dangers on pool grounds. Public and private pool operators must take appropriate steps to keep grounds safe and to prevent accidents and injuries that could be deadly.
Pool owners can be held liable in the event of an injury or accidental death if they are found to be negligent. Our Charleston personal injury attorneys are experienced with the investigation of pool accidents and will bring all relevant claims against responsible individuals and entities. We are also dedicated to accident prevention and want to keep South Carolina residents and their families safe when using pools this summer season.
If you are a pool owner, you should keep your pool gated and locked. While new technology has created high-tech pool alarms in the event of trespass, you should continue to supervise your children in the pool area. All residential pool owners must have proper fencing around swimming areas.
Another danger on pool grounds involves the pool's filtration systems. Numerous fatalities have occurred on public and private pool grounds when small children have gotten caught or "suctioned" to a pool's filter drain. There are city and state requirements regarding filtration systems and safety requirements.
Meeting code requirements is important not only for pool safety, but for insurance purposes. While pools are usually installed by professionals who have training and know insurance requirements, homeowners who try to install a pool themselves should also have a clear understanding of their obligations under the law. Not only could a violation create a safety hazard, it could open up a pool owner to liability in the event of an accident. City inspectors who find violations can fine both public and private pool owners and operators until the pool meets state and local requirements.
Pool regulation offenses may be uncommon because owners must first obtain a permit before building a pool. Usually this involves an involved inspection process. Overtime, a gate, guardrail or other safety measure may fail. Property owners are responsible for fixing or replacing any issues in a reasonable amount of time. Negligent maintenance of a pool area could also give rise to liability.
One primary key to safety is supervision. If you have young children, you should always be supervising them when at a pool. While a lifeguard at a public or private pool can be helpful, they should not be your only source of supervision when at a pool. Where there is no lifeguard, parents should be extra careful to supervise swimming and playing children when in a pool area.
Another issue for pool owners is whether a pool has the depth to be safe for diving. Water slides must also meet requirements to avoid injuries and liability. Pool owners should warn swimmers if the depth cannot accommodate diving or if diving poses a safety hazard.
Pool accidents can be severe resulting in head injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis. In the most severe cases, a pool incident can result in drowning and fatality. To prevent injury, pool owners should be aware of all safety requirements and know what action to take in the event of an emergency. There should also be emergency equipment on-hand to best respond to an accident.