Faced with the potential for multi-million dollar lawsuits, private pool owners are becoming more proactive in assessing and managing risk in their aquatic environment.
Homeowners need to understand the responsibility they assume for the safe operation of the pool. This includes family members, guests and even people who may enter the yard uninvited and enter the pool.The Lifesaving Society Private Pool Safety Standards outlines the Lifesaving Society's recommendations for minimum safety requirements for private pools.
What is considered a Private Pool?
A Private swimming pool means a swimming pool that is constructed for the use of a single family dwelling unit and used only by the owners and their guests.
A Whirlpool means a swimming pool designed primarily for therapeutic or recreational use that: is not drained, cleaned or refilled before use by each individual; and utilizes hydrojet circulation, air induction bubbles, hot water or any combination of them.
Each year about 30 people die in private pools and whirlpools across Canada. Drowning fatalities in children under the age of 5 are more than double that of any other age group. The vast majority of these young victims are the children or relatives of the private pool owner.
A major contributing factor in the deaths of children is the lack of adult supervision. For children under 5 years old, 85% were unsupervised when they drowned. For children age 5-12, 61% were unsupervised and in the age group from 13-15, 34% were unsupervised. There are alarming statistics, and speak volumes to the need for supervision of your private pool.
Children aren't the only ones at risk; adults are the second largest group at risk after young children under the age of 5. Adults bathing alone and people who dive into the shallow water of private pools are at significant risk. Entertaining and private pools often go hand-in-hand during the hot summer months. The high incidence of drowning and alcohol is an important factor for the private pool owner to keep in mind.
The Lifesaving Society recommends that you read the Private Pool Safety Standards and use this document to evaluate your pool and determine what steps you can take to create a safe environment for your family, friends and guests.
Download your copy of the Private Pool Safety Standards free of charge.
Educate yourself, family members and guests of the pool with the Lifesaving Society's Within Arms Reach pamphlet and video. Aimed at educating parents on the dangers of backyard pools, the pamphlet provides key information for preventing drownings. The eleven minute Within Arms Reach video highlights how quickly and silently a drowning can occur and what pool owners can do to prevent these tragedies. The video features former World Pairs Champion figure skater Barbara Underhill who lost her 8 month old daughter Stephanie in a backyard pool tragedy. Barbara shares her insights and provides advice to private pool owners.
Order the video and pamphlet through the The Shop or by calling the Lifesaving Society.