Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
East Bridgewater Police Plan Active Role In Preventing Pool-Related Accidents This Summer
EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Scott C. Allen reports that the East Bridgewater Police Department will take a proactive approach to pool safety as residents begin spending more time swimming.
This year, as they have in the past, East Bridgewater Police will conduct patrols throughout town in search of noticeable pool-related bylaw violations, and will work in collaboration with the Building Department and residents to take corrective action. The most common violations that East Bridgewater Police discover are related to improper fencing of pool areas.
East Bridgewater’s bylaws require pools to be surrounded by a 5-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and has an access gate that self-closes, self-latches and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
Residents should note that any pool capable of holding two feet of water or more—even a temporary or inflatable pool—must be surrounded by this type of fence.
“Our goal with this effort is not to take punitive action against residents, but rather to prevent tragedies from occurring involving young children around pool areas,” Chief Allen said.
More than 200 children drown in backyard swimming pools each year, according to the American Red Cross. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, so East Bridgewater Police consider pool safety to be a top priority during the summer months.
The East Bridgewater Police Department encourages residents to keep these safety tips in mind this summer:
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. Pool alarms are required whenever a house door leads directly to a pool deck.
- Never leave children unattended while they are in or near a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floatation devices.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors and anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.
- Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
- Never use the pool if the chemical levels are not correct, or if the water is cloudy and you can’t see the bottom.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.
- Watch the local weather reports and do not swim if thunderstorms are in the forecast.
- Those who are 21 and older should drink responsibly if they choose to consume alcoholic beverages when by the pool. Overindulging increases the risk for injuries or accidental drowning.
- Avoid using glass containers by the pool. They could break and leave glass around the pool or in the water.
For more information about Massachusetts laws related to swimming pools, click here.