And understandably so. Who doesn’t love lounging poolside and catching some sun, maybe with a hot dog or cool beverage, or a refreshing dip on a hot August day? For many, pools are one of the best parts of summer. But while fun, pools are equally hazardous if appropriate safety measures are not taken.

That’s why disclosing your pool to your home insurance company is an important first step in keeping you and your loved ones safe. Home insurance protects you if you or your guests sustain any pool-related accidents or injuries. It will help to cover the costs if someone is hurt and you are found liable, from invited family guests to trespassing children in the neighborhood. 

Read on to learn 7 pool rules so you can enjoy a summer of safe swimming.


Establish Pool Rules

While it may be obvious, the first rule is to establish rules! Setting pool rules for your home and making sure everyone knows them, whether they live there or are just visiting for the afternoon, is an important and necessary first step in pool safety.

As the homeowner, whether it’s no glass by the pool, no running and jumping in, or no swimming after big meals, you are responsible for creating and enforcing the safety rules for your backyard oasis.


Have a Watcher, Always

Avoid swimming unattended. Regardless of age or ability, swimming by yourself can be incredibly dangerous. Making sure there is always a swimming buddy, in case of emergency, could be life-saving.

It only takes seconds to drown, and when over half of adults in the U.S. have never taken a swimming lesson, it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Ensure Safety Features

Local ordinances will usually require fencing for pools, but that is just a start. Make sure your pool and the surrounding area is equipped with any necessary safety features, such as:

  • Compliant anti-entrapment drain covers.
  • Secure fencing, with a locked entrance and/or self-latching gates to prevent access.
  • Audible alarms. You can get one on your fence to alert you when someone has gone through the barrier to enter the pool area. And, you can invest in a pool alarm which will go off if someone or something goes in the pool.
  • Handrails for stairs and ladders that are fully secured.

With all of these, it’s important to inspect them frequently to make sure nothing is broken, missing or malfunctioning. Investing in these safety precautions will give you and your fellow swimmers peace of mind.


Inspect Regularly

Whether your pool is above-ground or below, making sure you routinely check for any potential problems or signs of wear is key to assuring safety. Have peace of mind that you and your loved ones can enjoy your pool by frequently inspecting:

  • Rips or tears in your pool liner. Check all sides, as they can often go undetected, especially high-traffic areas or spots where you typically use a skimmer or vacuum.
  • Metal supports for above-ground pools. If there is any rust or deterioration, that is a sign your pool could be at risk of rupturing.
  • Handrails, ladders, or any diving boards or slides that they are securely bolted down and not flimsy. (Make sure to establish rules for these fun additions, too!)
  • Tip: Be careful when inspecting, especially if your pool is empty or drained. While many of us know and think of the risks associated with swimming, empty pools can be just as hazardous for you and your guests as they are a serious fall hazard.


Acquire & Teach Necessary Skills

People usually love being poolside and dipping their feet in the water, even if they aren’t confident swimmers. But you can’t control if someone falls into a pool, or if someone ever may need help. Teaching swimming techniques is not just for children; making sure people of all ages have the skills to confidently swim is crucial for pool safety. Investing in swim lessons is the best gift you could ever give to someone.

As a pool owner or go-er, learning First Aid/CPR/AED is often overlooked. But knowing these life-saving skills go far beyond the backyard. You never know when you may need to them.

Lastly, it’s also a good idea to stock up on noodles, boogie boards and other flotation devices for your guests to use, which help to combat fatigue and keep swimmers afloat. Plus, they’re delightful!


Keep It Clean

No one wants to look into a clear pool and instead find bugs, algae or even live frogs. While some is unavoidable, it’s important to regularly clean your pool, filters, and maintain the necessary pH of the water. Make sure to follow instructions and properly handle any pool chemicals when you’re using them, and to store them away and out of reach when you’re done.

  • Tip: Pool covers not only keep your pool cleaner longer, but also provide added safety. Many can hold the weight of an animal or child, if not more, and have become automatic, so you can use it more frequently, as opposed to just when it’s time to close for the season.


Sun Safety

When you’re enjoying a day of fun in the sun, making sure your skin is protected can often slip your mind. But getting just five or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. People of all ages should wear sunscreen daily, and it’s especially important to if you plan to spend time by the pool. Invest in high SPF, water resistant sunscreen, and remember to reapply every two hours. It’s also a smart idea to wear UV-blocking clothes or sunhats, even while swimming.


These are just some of the many safety measures homeowners should take to facilitate safe swimming. As carefree as we might feel floating under the sun, it’s important to protect ourselves and others. That’s why it’s also important to let your insurance company know if you have a pool or are planning to install one, as it will increase your liability risk.