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Dangerous Premises

Residential Swimming Pool Liability in BC

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like a dip in the pool to cool off and enjoy the weather. Unfortunately, swimming pools aren’t always a haven from the heat. Swimming pool accidents, including slips and falls, diving accidents, and drownings, are of concern. While commercial and public swimming pools in British Columbia must adhere to the Public Health Act’s Pool Regulation, the same cannot be said for private residential pools. Homeowners or tenants must understand the responsibilities that come with having a pool on their property to ensure occupants remain safe and they aren’t found liable for swimming pool injuries that occur on their property.

Occupiers Liability Act and Swimming Pool Accidents

Under the Occupiers Liability Act, either the homeowners or tenants living on a property must ensure that it remains “reasonably” safe for all occupants. Naturally, swimming pools would fall under this rule. If a swimming pool injury occurs, it’s possible that the homeowner or current tenant could be liable for the accident if they have not been found to have maintained reasonably safe conditions. To avoid any dangerous premises hazards, homeowners and tenants should be proactive about mitigating potential risks to avoid any swimming pool liability lawsuits.

Common Swimming Pool Accidents

Slips and Falls
There’s no question that pool areas easily become wet. However, homeowners or tenants have the responsibility to ensure pool areas are still reasonably safe despite these conditions. If a guest slips and falls, they may have grounds to sue. To avoid this liability, homeowners or tenants should verbally warn all guests to avoid running or horseplay, install signs with pool rules, and keep the pool deck clear of tripping hazards.

Diving Accidents
Diving into pools that are too shallow can be extremely dangerous and may result in severe head, neck, or spinal injuries. Residential pool owners must make it very clear to those using their pool where diving is permitted, if allowed at all. Posting signage with diving rules and verbally warning swimmers helps protect against potential liabilities. It’s also important for homeowners and tenants to ensure diving boards and slides are safely installed in deep ends.

Residential pool owners may be liable for drownings, fatal or not. Pool owners need to have some kind of supervision on deck or nearby who can clearly see occupants and their actions. Providing floaties or life jackets for weak swimmers and having a life ring available can make all the difference between a safe day at the pool and a life-threatening accident.

Swimming Pool Insurance

Above-ground and in-ground swimming pools carry high risk among insurers. While homeowners insurance typically includes personal injury coverage, this might not be enough to cover costs associated with a swimming pool accident. Residential pool owners should consider looking for additional swimming pool liability insurance that specifically protects them and their wallets should a swimming pool accident or injury occur.