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Things to Know Before Opening Your Pool this Memorial Day


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    For many of us, Memorial Day is the official kickoff to summer and the start of swimming pool season. Whether your favorite pool is at the local YMCA, gym, or even in your own backyard, we all look forward to the idea of lounging by the cool water. However, pools can also be extremely dangerous and great care should be taken, especially if you are trying to maintain your own pool. The risk of drowning isn’t the only danger that may be lurking under the surface of those crystal clear waters.

    Drowning Dangers

    First, you need to always do the needed work to secure your pool to prevent drowning. You should also keep in mind that if you have your own pool, anyone else who is injured in that pool could potentially hold you legally accountable. So in order to protect your friends, neighbors, and yourself, you should do the following:

    • Make sure that you have a life preserver/flotation device handy in case someone falls in who cannot swim;
    • Keep the area around the pool free of obstructions that might cause someone to trip and fall into the water;
    • Never leave children unsupervised around a swimming pool; and
    • Install a security fence and alarm system around the pool to keep out neighborhood children who might try to go for a swim while you are not home.

    Pool Chemicals and Safety

    The Centers for Disease Control has also begun to warn homeowners with pools about the potential dangers that they may not think of—specifically, those dangers caused by improper use of pool chemicals. These dangers can include poisoning as well as severe chemical burns from improperly used chemicals. In order to prevent anything serious from happening to you, your family, and your friends, be sure to follow these tips:

    • Always read the instructions on the chemical labels so that you are using them properly;
    • Whenever directed, be sure that you wear safety gear such as gloves, eye protection/goggles or a mask to prevent chemical burns and ventilation issues;
    • Never let children handle the chemicals and always keep them locked up where kids cannot get to them;
    • Never mix different types of pool chemicals together since this can cause a chemical reaction which may create poisonous or toxic vapors;
    • Always wait the appropriate amount of time after adding the chemicals before you go swimming. If you swim too soon, you could wind up harming your eyes, skin, and nose particularly with chemical burns; and
    • Never add water to the pool chemicals but instead add the chemicals to the water. This can cause a chemical reaction that either releases a vapor or increases the temperature of the solution to an unsafe level.

    If you follow these tips, you should be able to stay safe this summer. However, if you are injured in a pool accident or if someone is injured while swimming in your pool, it is imperative that you seek legal help to ensure that your rights are protected. The attorneys at Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato will be happy to give you a free consultation and review the facts of your case before giving a recommendation about what you can do in this case.

    Article updated May 8, 2017

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