Recent data acquired from the Center of Disease Control has shown that California had 11 drowning fatalities involving children last year and with the summer months in full swing, Clovis community members need to be aware of potential dangers and liabilities at home.
Adam Johnson, an analyst for QuoteWizard, a subsidiary of LendingTree, highlighted some of the pitfalls that families can fall into, but there are ways to keep family members safe and your home covered as well.
“We recommend that you maintain a safe pool environment by ensuring a fence with locks surrounds the area. This not only keeps the kids out when the parents are not around, it can prevent trespassers from entering your property. There is a statute with insurance companies that declares that pools are an “attractive nuisance” which essentially means it is dangerous fun that can attract children and teens,” Johnson said. “If you don’t have a proper way of keeping people out, and someone gets hurt or drowns, the insurance company can deny a claim because you failed to properly keep people from trespassing.”
There are many ways to keep your pool safe for both friends and family. From improving supervision and clearing debris out of the pool to teaching your young kids how to swim, taking time to focus on the issue is important.
In 2018, California had the third highest child drowning fatalities. Just behind Florida and Texas which each had 21.
“Cameras are also helpful, especially in visible places near the entrance. This helps deter people from entering your property and trespassing in your pool. You can also buy cameras that can be viewed in real time with your cell-phone so that you know no one is using the pool while you are gone,” Johnson said.
“If you can, try and make your pool as least visible to the public as possible as to not attract any trespassers. If you can have a way to install another fence, even your children would have to ask permission to enter the pool area.”
While it may seem like a large task, the benefits are well worth the extra attention. Friends and family are safe, but so is your home and having the proper protections in place is the only way to ensure safety.
Even a simple question could help ease the burden. Statistics show 46% of non-fatal drowning injuries of children younger than 15-years-old occurred at a residential pool.
“It is best to get to know the children’s swimming ability from the start,” Johnson said. “Asking how many years he or she has been swimming, where they have gone, etc. Have them do a swimming test and see if he or she is able to float.”
Also, setting rules and guidelines for pool play can help either the parents or adults supervising, and also help the kids learn the proper etiquette around a swimming pool.
“If you think your kids are too rowdy, don’t be afraid to curtail their activities. We recommend having a set list of written rules clearly displayed around to act as a visual reminder for the children. Make it clear that they need to be safe while in the pool.”
And more so for adults and parents, make sure your insurance policies are up to date if you in fact have a residential pool. It’s important to have that just in case, because the downside of not having the right protection on your home could be costly.
The process is easy.
“Make sure your homeowner’s coverage is sufficient enough. The liability portion is what you want to take a look at; the standard HO-3 home insurance policy comes with $100,000 in liability coverage. It’s recommended that homeowners with pools increase their liability coverage to $500,000 or more,” Johnson said. “Many in the insurance industry recommend an umbrella policy that grants an individual one million dollars in liability coverage across all lines of insurance, including auto.
“Increasing liability coverage on your home insurance policy is simple. Contact your insurance agent or provider and request an increase in liability coverage. Bumping coverage from $100,000 to over $500,000 is only about a 10% to 15% increase on your home insurance premium.