Andrew P. Flanagan, Town Manager
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Monday, June 5, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
*Joint Press Release* Town of Andover, Andover Police Department and Andover Fire Rescue Remind Residents of Pool Safety Precautions
ANDOVER — As the warm weather approaches and residents open their pools or consider purchasing one, the Town of Andover, the Andover Police Department and Andover Fire Rescue wish to remind residents to take the proper precautions to ensure a safe and happy summer.
Anyone looking to purchase a pool should contact the Andover Building Department prior to doing so in order to determine which permits they may need.
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 Andover’s public safety officials consider pool safety a top priority.
Other 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.
The Town of Andover, Andover Police Department, and Andover Fire Rescue remind residents to follow these safety regulations and recommended precautions:
- Per Massachusetts regulation, pools should be surrounded by a 4-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 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.
“These codes are in place for a reason, and it is up to pool owners to make sure they are in compliance with all of them,” said Andover Building Commissioner Chris Clemente. “They are added safety measures meant to protect residents and their guests from swimming pool accidents.”
“Summer is a time for residents and kids alike to relax and enjoy the warm weather,” Police Chief Patrick Keefe said. “However, we cannot stress enough how important it is to follow these guidelines to avoid accidents.”
“Having a pool is great, especially during those hot summer days, but we want to emphasize the responsibility that comes with owning one,” Fire Chief Michael B. Mansfield said. “We want residents to take every precaution to keep everyone safe this summer.”
For a complete listing of Massachusetts building code regulations regarding swimming pools, click here.