There’s no better way to cool off in the summer in Reading and throughout Greater Boston than to take a dip in your own backyard pool. With record high temperatures lately we know the first thing you want to do is jump right in, but as your local experts on all things safety, the Gilbert Insurance team wants to remind you of a few precautions. To make sure you enjoy your summer by the pool safely, we’re offering our guide to pool safety.
Pool Safety Tips, #1: Be Alert
- Create pool rules and follow them. It’s a good idea to make a list of rules for your entire family to follow. For example, these rules could include ‘no swimming alone,’ ‘ask permission from an adult before going into the pool area,’ and ‘no running.’
- Clean up the pool deck. Do your kids leave toys behind everywhere they go? Make sure the pool deck is clear of any toys or objects that can cause people to trip and fall near the pool.
- Actively supervise children. This is extremely important. As your local insurance agent, we know accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. It is not enough just to be present; adult supervision needs to be active and distraction free. When there are multiple adults present, you can designate a ‘water watcher’ to eliminate any uncertainty about who is supervising the children in the water.
Pool Safety Tips, #2: Properly Maintain Your Pool
- Skim your pool daily. This practice allows you to catch debris or bugs that may have fallen into the pool before they sink, which makes them harder to remove.
- Clean strainer baskets. You should clean the baskets from your filters weekly to help with water circulation.
- Vacuum. Vacuuming your pool weekly not only keeps the water clean and clear, it also reduces the need for additional chemicals.
- Check chemical levels weekly. Adjust chemical levels as needed, but do not enter the pool until 30 minutes after treating the water.
Pool Safety Tips, #3: Be Prepared
- Create an emergency kit. You should always have a fully stocked emergency kit in an accessible spot near the pool. It should include a first aid kit, scissors to cut clothing or hair that can get stuck in a drain, and a flotation device.
- Have a pool phone. In an emergency, reaction time is extremely important. You should have a phone by the pool at all times so that you are able to dial 911 in case of an emergency.
- Consider taking a CPR or first aid course. You can never be too prepared in the event of an emergency. The American Red Cross offers safety courses, CPR certification, and more to help you be prepared in a variety of situations.
Pool Safety Tips, #4: Consider Umbrella Insurance
- Additional liability. As a pool owner, you are exposed to additional risks, especially if you entertain often, or have children and live in a neighborhood where your backyard turns into the community pool during the summer months. Umbrella Insurance provides an added level of protection above your homeowners liability coverage should anything go wrong in or around your pool. Here is an example of a scenario that could happen:
The backyard is filled with the neighborhood kids, everyone is laughing and having fun until little Bobby up the street slips and falls on the wet deck and breaks an arm. You think to yourself, accidents happen. You feel confident because you have liability coverage with your homeowners insurance. Then you find out that the break required surgery and that little Bobby, who is really your son’s seventeen-year-old friend, was about to head off to college on a baseball scholarship, which just went down the drain. His parents decide to blame you for the boys roughhousing around the pool and now intend to sue … not just for the cost of the surgery, but also the scholarship money they are losing!
- Affordable coverage. One of the biggest misconceptions about an umbrella insurance policy is that it is going to break the bank. That’s not the case. A $1 million dollar umbrella insurance policy (which can go up to $5 million dollars in coverage or more) can cost as little as $200 for the year — that’s about $16/month!
We believe that most pool owners can benefit from the added coverage of umbrella insurance and a Gilbert Insurance expert would be happy to answer any questions you may have about how this coverage can be combined with your current homeowners policy.
Gilbert Insurance wants everyone to enjoy the beautiful weather in the comfort of their own backyard pool — but there are risks when you install a pool. For questions about your homeowners policy or umbrella insurance, give us a call 781-942-2225 or visit our website. And if you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by our office at 137 Main St. Reading, MA 01867.