4 Things to Consider Before Throwing a Pool Party
Florida boasts some of the best year-round weather for relaxing and playing outside. A high percentage of homes in the sunshine state have pools that get used most of the year. If you have a new pool space at your home, your family is probably itching to host a pool party. There are a few things to think about before making your invitation list, especially if you plan to have kids over.
Pool Party Considerations
- The state of Florida sees residential pools as serious potential safety hazards. Florida Statute § 31 outlines some statistics regarding residential pool safety and outlines legislation in order to address its findings. The legislation shares the determination that drowning is the number one cause of fatalities in young children in Florida, as well as for the elderly.
- The State treats supervision around pools as a homeowner’s responsibility. It cites the main reason for these accidents to be the lack of proper supervision. Regulations in the statute hold homeowners accountable and outline mandatory safety measures for owners of residential pools. Each new residential pool must have at least one of the safety features mentioned below, which must all conform to legal specifications:
- Adequate pool cover
- Barrier wall or fence which restricts access to the pool from the residence or from the yard.
- Exit alarms from the house to access areas of the pool.
- Indoor swimming pools must be surrounded or enclosed by four walls within a building.
- All doors with direct access to the pool area from the home must have self-closing and latching devices and must be at least 54 inches above the ground or there must be an alarm in the residential pool that sounds with unauthorized movement or detection of activity in the pool.
Homeowners who do not follow these legal guidelines could be charged with a 2nd degree misdemeanor. Once a citation is issued, the homeowner has 45 days to rectify compliance, and the misdemeanor may be dismissed without penalty.
- Homeowners are at risk of being held liable for slip and fall accidents on their property. Florida statute 768 outlines the various scenarios for negligence. The scenario homeowners should be concerned about is the Premise Liability Law. It basically states that homeowners may be liable if they knew about or should’ve known about dangerous conditions and neglected to repair or give warning about it, and in addition, somebody is injured as a result.
- You can protect yourself. There are many things you can do to make sure your pool party is a safe one, while also addressing the possibility of your liability in the event of a guest injury:
- Make sure you follow the statute requirements for safety measures around your pool.
- Regularly check the surface and other areas of your pool and general property space for damage or safety hazards. Keep your property maintained and do repairs as soon as you are aware that they are needed.
- See that you have sufficient supervision of all swimming guests, including children.
- Take photos of your property before hosting guests.
- In the event of an accident, be sure the injured guest receives immediate medical evaluation and attention. Record every detail regarding the area and moment in which the accident occurred.
- Call an experienced attorney regarding any accident that happens on your property as soon as possible.
You want to enjoy your home and share it with your friends and family. You shouldn’t have to be afraid to host events due to fear of being sued. With some preparation and diligence on your part, you can reduce the chance of unfortunate incidents in your home. In the end, make sure you connect with a competent attorney who can advise you regarding your liability, should you need it. Tison Law Group has a great team of legal professionals who will be there for you when you need them. Call us for your free consultation.