May 16, 2024 / Uncategorized

Swim Safety, Secure Pools Save Lives

By Hillsborough County Florida

Hillsborough County hosted Safe Pools Day on May 10

City of Tampa’s Loretta Ingraham Pool served as the starting point for the Second Annual Safe Pools Day Tampa Bay event, where Hillsborough County Code Enforcement staff discussed the importance of pool safety. The County teamed up with the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City to coordinate inspections of hundreds of condominium, apartment, common-area, subdivision, and public pools ahead of the busy swim season. On the officers’ safety checklist were barriers (such as fences) that are 6 feet or higher, self-closing and self-latching gates, drain covers, that the water was clear and free of debris, and that pools had signage with pool safety requirements, among other standards as identified in the Hillsborough County Code.

The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County also participated and gave the following tips for water safety and how to help prevent pool injuries and drownings:

  • Designate a “water watcher,” an adult whose only job is to watch the children in the pool. Water watchers should be rotated about every 10 minutes.
  • Ensure that alarms are installed on any doors and gates leading to at-home pools, as well as a water alarm in the pool that goes off when someone enters the pool.
  • Enroll your child in swim lessons. Locally, the City of Tampa offers swim lessons for ages six months and older through the American Red Cross.
    Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths of children aged four and younger, and most of the deaths are preventable. Additionally, with hurricane season starting June 1, parents and caregivers are urged to add pool safety to their hurricane safety check list, especially if a family evacuates to a home with a pool.

With summer just around the corner, it’s important to ensure that private home swimming pools are Safe, Secure, and Sanitary:

1. Safe

To prevent accidental drownings, all swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas – regardless of when they were constructed – are required to have the proper fencing and safety barriers installed.

2. Secure

If a pool enclosure has an access gate, it must be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching locking device. Homeowners can reduce their safety risk and avoid a citation by checking their functional access gate to ensure it meets the local standards.

3. Sanitary

A clean swimming pool is a must. Pollen, leaves, and other organic material can transform a backyard oasis into a murky green lagoon if not properly maintained. Residents should maintain pools and spas year-round and remove standing water from the top of pool and spa covers to prevent mosquitoes, bacteria, and germs from breeding.

Whether you swim at home or in a public pool, it’s everyone’s responsibility to be pool safe. If you witness a code violation at any swimming pool in unincorporated Hillsborough County, call Code Enforcement at (813) 274-6600.