With summer here, Canadians are already enjoying outdoor barbecues, sunbathing and quick dips in the pool. Whether it’s a hot tub, pond or swimming pool, adding a touch of water to your backyard is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors at home.
But don’t forget that owning a pool or water feature comes with important responsibilities. According to the Lifesaving Society’s 2011 Drowning Report, nearly 500 Canadians die in water-related accidents annually. And with statistics showing teenagers and young adults at highest risk, it’s more important than ever to keep your water zones danger-free.
“Homeowners need to use precautionary methods in the backyard to avoid accidents,” says Wayne Ross, an insurance expert at Aviva Canada. “Even a simple action like installing a physical barrier to your pond or pool can be life saving.”
Ross recommends these tips for better tranquility in the backyard:
1. Install a fence: Children are naturally curious and will be drawn to a pool or pond so installing a fence can help you breathe an extra sigh of relief. Additionally, using a gate lock or a hot tub safety cover as a precautionary barrier is an inexpensive way to avoid accidents.
2. Check your insurance policy: Contact your insurance broker prior to installing a water zone. You need to advise your insurer of any increased risk to ensure you have protection against liability.
3. Contact your municipality: Municipalities have different safety regulations, so stay updated on the newest codes and standards.
4. Never swim alone. A nearby friend can save your life or prevent further injury if you slip or fall in or near the pool.
5. Adult always present. Children love to swim and can get excited and rambunctious when in a pool. An adult should always supervise youth swimming to ensure maximum fun while playing safe.
More information is available from your insurance broker.