Swim Safety, Secure Pools Save Lives
With picturesque Sulphur Springs as the backdrop, Hillsborough County Code Enforcement staff discussed pool safety requirements as part of the first-ever Safe Pools Day Tampa Bay on May 19. Hillsborough teamed up with the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace, and Plant City to coordinate inspections of hundreds of condominium, apartment, common-area, subdivision, and public pools. In total, the Code Enforcement teams from all four jurisdictions inspected over 400 area pools, ensuring that each one had barriers (such as fences) that are 6 feet or higher, self-closing and self-latching gates, drain covers, the water was clear and free of debris, and had signage with pool safety requirements, among other standards as identified in the Hillsborough County Code.
The Children's Board of Hillsborough County also participated in the May 19 event, giving tips for water safety and how to help prevent pool injuries and drownings. Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths of children aged four and younger, and most of the deaths are preventable. Additionally, with hurricane season starting June 1, parents and caregivers are urged to add pool safety to their hurricane safety check list, especially if a family needs to evacuate to a home with a pool.
With summer just around the corner, it's important to ensure that your own private home swimming pool is Safe, Secure, and Sanitary:
To prevent accidental drownings, all swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas - regardless of when they were constructed - are required to have the proper fencing and safety barriers installed.
If a pool enclosure has an access gate, it must also be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching locking device. Homeowners can reduce their safety risk and avoid a citation by checking their functional access gate to ensure it meets the local standards.
A clean swimming pool is a must. Pollen, leaves, and other organic material can transform a backyard oasis into a green lagoon if not properly maintained. To prevent this from happening to their property, residents should maintain pools and spas year-round and remove standing water from the top of the pool and spa covers. Doing so will prevent mosquitoes, bacteria, and germs from breeding.
Whether you swim at home or at a public pool, it's everyone's responsibility to be pool safe. If you witness a code violation at any swimming pool in unincorporated Hillsborough County, call Code Enforcement at (813) 274-6600.