STONEHAM — Chief Matthew Grafton and the Stoneham Fire Department would like to remind residents to follow water safety tips and take caution near pools this summer.
“As the weather gets warmer, we encourage residents to follow safety procedures when swimming in backyard pools and when boating on Spot Pond,” said Chief Grafton. “Always keep an eye on children and enjoy a safe summer.”
For those with their own pools, the Stoneham Fire Department suggests that the community follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Per Massachusetts law, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you do not 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. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.
- Never leave children unattended while they are near or in 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 floats.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or 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.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.
Spot Pond is a popular location for outdoor recreational activities, including canoeing and kayaking. The Stoneham Fire Department wishes to remind residents that swimming is prohibited at all times on Spot Pond and other reservoirs in the Middlesex Fells.
The American Canoe Association offers the following safety tips to kayakers, paddlers, and recreational boaters:
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket in a public body of water at all times.
- Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current. Keep the craft under control. Do not enter a rapid unless you are reasonably sure you can navigate it or swim the entire rapid in case you capsize.
- Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
- Know your physical limitations.
- Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.