Keep pool hazards down with good equipment, awareness

More than half of swimming pool drownings among young people can be prevented by four-sided fencing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Modified: July 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm •  Published: July 17, 2012
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More than half of swimming pool drownings among young people can be prevented by four-sided fencing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Insurance policies often require such a fence before coverage will be extended to a homeowner, said Michael Birdsong, who runs an agency in Oklahoma City.

Swimming pools are an “attractive nuisance,” he said, and steps must be taken to reduce the potential for accident.

“As inexpensive as liability is, it normally comes with $100,000 (coverage),” Birdsong said. “We would probably want to increase it to $300,000 to half a million. You'd hate to have somebody sue you, and you'd kick your butt if you knew it would only cost you an extra 20 dollars a year for the extra coverage.”

Make sure fencing includes self-closing and self-latching gates that are out of reach of children, and when the pool's not in use, clear it of toys that may entice children to enter.

Other suggestions, as provided by Oklahoma Health Department:

• Use locks or alarms for doors and windows that open to a pool area

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