Ah, summertime. It’s a great time for property managers to kick back and relax -- except for that out-of-control grill fire on the deck of unit 31 that nearly spread to adjacent units; that ornery 13-year-old who broke his finger during horseplay in the community swimming pool, and the swarms of bloodthirsty mosquitoes congregating around the drainage ditches along the perimeter of the property.
Actually, maybe summertime isn’t the best time for condo managers to let down their guard. With the increased outdoor activity encouraged by the warm weather is the increased potential for injuries on an HOA’s property, as well as the need for additional safety measures. To get though the summer without serious mishap, experts recommend a thorough, multifaceted approach to safety at every HOA, regardless of size or number of amenities.
While a swimming pool is without question an extremely valuable and sought-after amenity for just about any HOA, the pool itself and the surrounding area can be the site of injuries -- or even tragedy -- if strict safety protocols are not enforced.
Swimming pools are covered under the New Jersey State Bathing Code, which exists to promote safe swimming for everyone and for children in particular. The code covers a great deal of ground, but some of the more noteworthy items include rules requiring fencing around pool areas to control access and lessen the chance of an unattended children falling in, rules requiring ladders and proper filtration systems. Managers must also be aware of new compliance regulations as a result of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, which now requires that all pools and spas to be equipped with proper drain covers and subsequent devices and systems designed to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains.
Lifeguards are an HOA's first and best line of defense when it comes to avoiding pool-related accidents. With certain exceptions, most HOAs are required to have a trained lifeguard in the pool area during its hours of operation.