EAST BRIDGEWATER — With the start of summer approaching, Police Chief Scott Allen and Fire Chief Timothy Harhen would like to remind East Bridgewater residents to take the proper precautions and adhere to state regulations regarding swimming pools.
“In East Bridgewater, any pool capable of containing 24 inches of water or more must have a fence that is at least five feet tall and have a self-closing and self-latching gate,” Police Chief Allen said. “The fence must also not be in a state of disrepair that would allow someone to gain access to the pool. Please check around your pools to make sure there was no damage done to your fencing during the winter months before opening up your pools for the season.”
The American Red Cross reports that more than 200 children drown in swimming pools each year. Additionally, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so the East Bridgewater Police and Fire Departments consider pool safety to be a top priority.
Factors to consider when installing a pool include zoning requirements, electrical clearances, utility easements and contacting your insurance agency as pools require additional liability coverage.
“Sadly, we have seen a couple of drownings in town in the past and we want to encourage residents to take all precautions necessary to prevent these tragic accidents,” Chief Harhen said.
The East Bridgewater Police and Fire Departments remind residents to follow these safety regulations and recommended precautions:
- Per East Bridgewater’s bylaws, pools deeper than 23 inches need to be surrounded by a 5-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and has an access gate that self-closes, locks and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
- 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 flotation 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.
- 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 a complete listing of Massachusetts building code regulations regarding swimming pools, click here.