Swimming pools and hot tubs: 3 best practices to adopt for your safety
Published on July 4, 2022
Summer is here, which means it’s time to relax in a hot tub or take a refreshing swim! Have you added a pool or hot tub and wish to enjoy it to the fullest? These three best practices from the L’Unique General Insurance team will help you prevent accidents and home insurance claims.
1. Contact your broker to get the right coverage
Did you purchase an inflatable or collapsible unit? Your home insurance contract already covers this type of temporary unit. For any other type of swimming pool or hot tub, you must add coverage to your contract to be adequately covered.
The various coverages available based on the type of unit typically cover:
- The pool or hot tub
- The equipment used to maintain the structure or treat and heat the water
- The platform or deck that provides direct access to your unit
- Labour fees for the replacement or repair of the swimming pool or hot tub after a loss
To be adequately covered...
- Inform your broker that you have a swimming pool or hot tub when you insure your home for the first time, or notify your broker as soon as you know when the unit will be installed.
- Provide your broker with a list of all the equipment you use, particularly for heating and maintenance.
2. Comply with all current rules
Despite prevention methods, people drown every year in their swimming pools or hot tubs. The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Regulation outlines bylaws designed to secure your installation and reduce to a minimum the risk of drowning. It’s important to check with your municipality before doing any type of work.
As a current or future owner of a swimming pool or hot tub, you are liable for:
- Obtaining a permit from your municipality before you install or replace a swimming pool or a structure (diving board, enclosure, patio, platform, etc.) allowing or preventing access to a swimming pool.
- Installing a fence with an automatic closing and locking system to prevent access to the swimming pool. Complying with dimension regulations: minimum height of 1.2 m and spacing between bars should be less than 10 cm. OR Placing a hard cover equipped with a lock to limit access to the hot tub.
- Placing a ladder or stairs for access to in-ground and semi-inground pools.
- Keeping a life jacket or buoy within reach of swimmers at all times.
- Placing related devices such as pumps or filters in areas that are difficult to access: Under the patio, inside the fenced area or more than 1 m away from the pool or fence.
3. Always be careful and vigilant
Even if your units are solid and up to current standards, there is still a risk of drowning. The Lifesaving Society provides a few tips and precautions you should always take:
- Be prepared to act in the event of an emergency.
Would you be able to recognize signs of drowning? Here are three main warning signs: Gaze is upwards, face and eyes look panicky, arms flailing wildly. You should also take first aid and CPR training.
- Watch over children under 12. Before swimming, make sure everything you need is within reach: phones, drinks, towels, sunscreen, etc.
- When the little ones are swimming, watch over them and don’t take part in any other activities. Need to step away from the pool? Ask another adult to watch the kids or have the kids get out of the pool and accompany you.
- Nobody should swim alone. This rule applies to both the swimming pool and the hot tub.
- Avoid alcohol before entering the hot tub.
If you’ve had a few drinks, it’s probably better to enjoy the hot tub another day. The same is true for your guests! The hot water can make you sleepy or increase the effect of alcohol.
Monitor the temperature of your hot tub Using a hot tub is not advised for certain people: pregnant women, children under five and people with high blood pressure or cardiac problems.
- Lastly, pick up all toys floating in the pool and make sure all points of access are securely closed so children are not tempted to go back and swim by themselves.
Enjoy the water – and stay safe!
Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!