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Make Sure To Protect Your Swimming Pool

Make Sure To Protect Your Swimming PoolIt’s summer in Florida, and that means that many people will be taking advantage of both the free time and the hot weather to have some friend and/or family get-togethers in the swimming pool at home. This is an excellent time to remind home owners that while your swimming pool is your own, you do have a responsibility to make it a safe space. And while most people understand that this applies to guests who may visit, it also applies to strangers that you may not have invited. But how is that even legal?
It all depends on whether or not you respect your responsibilities as a pool owner with regards to premises liability.


Your Normal Obligations


Of course, when you have guests over, especially children, you know that it is important to make sure that the environment is safe. For example if you have a toddler that can’t swim, but are the only supervising adult present, then leave the child alone at the pool while you check on something that may be roasting in the oven, that’s negligence. You are responsible for maintaining a safe pool environment, and you know that leaving a child alone, who can’t swim, by the pool, is a risk.

This means that by deciding to leave the pool area anyway, you are voluntarily ignoring your safety responsibilities. And it means that if you should come back a few minutes later, and the child has fallen into the pool while you were away and lost consciousness, you are liable for premises liability.


The Uninvited Also Count


However, what many pool owners don’t realize is that it is also your legal responsibility to make your pool reasonably inaccessible. A pool, or any other interesting feature of your home, such as a treehouse, or outdoor trampoline, is known as an “attractive nuisance.” This means that the law recognizes that children, who have not fully developed a sense of right, wrong, personal responsibility, or awareness of civic laws, may enter properties if there is something sufficiently interesting present, and attempt to make use of them.

In the case of pools, it means that if you have an unfenced, unguarded, easily accessible pool that anyone can literally jump into, you are deliberately ignoring the very real risk that children will take advantage of this. If a child should get injured using your pool because it was so easy to access, you may be liable for the injuries—or even death—sustained.

On the other hand, if you take all reasonable precautions, such as building a fence, and creating a gate with a lock, you’ve done your legal duty. A child must now go much greater lengths, making him or her a trespasser.

However, booby traps designed to injure trespassers rather than simply block access put your right back in premises liability territory.

If your child is injured at someone’s pool during the summer, talk to a personal injury lawyer about a slip and fall accident, and see what your legal options are.