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How homeowners can improve pool safety

The CDC estimates that there are 7.4 million swimming pools in residential and public use in the U.S. Homeowners in New York will want to consider the following three safety tips if they own a pool. Though more than 3,500 non-boating drowning accidents occur each year in this country, drowning is not the only concern to watch out for.

First, homeowners should secure the pool perimeter with a climb-resistant fence and an alarm. The fence should be at least 4 feet high, and the vertical slats should be spaced no more than 4 inches apart. The gate should be a self-closing gate, and the latch should be above the reach of small children. Homeowners should be aware that they are protecting their pools against trespassing children too, not just their own.

Every home should have its own pool safety rules, and all guests should be familiar with them. These are just some of the basic rules that can be incorporated: no trip hazards or electrical appliances near the pool, no tricycles or other riding toys on the pool's edge, no running and no diving in shallow areas.

Homeowners should also pay attention to mechanical and chemical hazards. All pool suction fittings and plumbing grates should be secure, and the pool pump should be easily accessible. Chemicals should be labeled and stored in a locked location.

Slip and fall accidents can occur around pools if homeowners are not properly supervising the children. If a child is hurt like this on another's property, the family might file a premises liability claim to be reimbursed for medical expenses. This is where a lawyer may come in, evaluate the claim and calculate a fair amount for a settlement. Once the proof of negligence has been gathered, the lawyer may be able to negotiate. In the last resort, the lawyer might take the case to court.

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