When it comes to swimming pools, spas or any body of water, everyone is responsible for creating a safe environment for their family, friends and guests, all year long.
Government codes and ordinances in Las Vegas and its surrounding area require homeowners to provide protective barriers with every new pool built.
Temporary wading pools, above-ground pools, ponds, water features and portable spas all create the same temptation for children. And while laws may not regulate all bodies of water or pre-existing pools, installing safety barriers are a good idea for any water environment, to protect loved ones; including children, pets and special needs individuals with mental and physical challenges.
Water Safety Advocate Joe Vassallo, CBP president of Paragon Pools provides the following tips to create a safe environment around one’s home.
In addition to the most important safety measure of CONSTANT ADULT SUPERVISION, homeowners should consider adding one or more of the following barriers.
1. Alarm all accesses to the pool/spa. This includes all doors and windows.
2. Secure doggie doors to prevent exit by a small toddler.
3. Add child protective fencing around the pool/spa, with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
4. Install self-closing, self-latching devices on doors and screen doors.
5. Install a pool cover. Keep cover secured and locked when not swimming in the pool/spa.
Additional water safety tips:
1. Establish house rules for family members and guests regarding activity around the pool/spa and enforce the rules:
* DO NOT swim alone * NO running * NO heavy horse play around a pool * NO glass containers * NO diving in shallow waters * NO candy, food or gum when swimming * NO dunking, pushing people into the water or jumping on people in the pool !
2. Designate a responsible adult to supervise any water related or poolside activity. (teens and young baby sitters should not be left in-charge)
3. Never leave fence gates, doors or windows propped open.
4. Check the pool/spa FIRST when a child is missing.
5. Never leave toys in the pool.
6. Remove chairs, tables and other items children could use to climb over fencing or unlock gates.
7. Remove ladders/steps from above ground pools and spas.
8. Empty portable wading pools after each use.
9. Replace missing or torn window and door screens.
10. Provide personal flotation devices for children who can not swim.
11. Learn CPR and other life saving skills.
12. Install video monitoring systems around pool areas.
13. Have rescue equipment poolside: shepherd’s hook or reaching pole, flotation device, first aid kit and a telephone.
14.NEVER substitute any of the above for CONSTANT ADULT SUPERVISION.
Additional water safety information is also available from the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) www.snhd.org (702) 759-1000 or
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, www.theapsp.org, 703.838.0083. The APSP provides the following free consumer pamphlets: The Sensible Way to Enjoy Your Inground Swimming Pool, The Sensible Way to Enjoy Aboveground/Onground Swimming Pool, and The Sensible Way to Enjoy Your Spa or Hot Tub.