With warmer weather upon us and the school year winding down, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray is spearheading a townwide initiative to promote life-saving pool safety measures. In an effort to prevent tragedies from occurring this summer, Supervisor Murray, Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad joined with local children and their families by the pool of a Levittown homeowner to discuss important pool safety tips and requirements.
According to statistics released by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is an annual national average of 390 accidental child drownings in pools and thousands of pool-related injuries.
“Educating all neighbors on pool safety is key to preventing tragedies before they occur,” Murray said. “Whether or not you have children or own a pool, we all know someone who could be impacted by the potential dangers lurking in the water.”
Murray encouraged residents, especially pool owners, to obtain a copy of Hempstead Town’s free pool safety brochure by clicking the link below.
During the event, Murray led a pool alarm demonstration, and reminded residents that it is not only a life-saver – it is the law. As of September of 2008, Hempstead Town requires a pool alarm for all swimming pools installed or maintained in unincorporated areas. The alarm must be capable of detecting a child entering the water, and an 85-plus decibel warning must sound within 20 seconds poolside and at another location on the premises.
“A pool alarm, required by town law, is an essential tool that prevents accidental drownings by alerting property owners when an unanticipated person has entered the pool,” Clavin said. “It only takes seconds for tragedy to strike, and a pool alarm is one of many proactive steps to protect our children,” Ahmad added.
Murray also urged pool owners to ensure that their pools are protected by physical barriers, as town code requires a minimum of a five-foot non-climbable fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate (equipped with a lock). The Supervisor also encourages parents, grandparents and caregivers to learn CPR, and for families to consider registering children for the town’s popular swimming lessons hosted throughout the summer.
“Never leave a child alone or out of your eye sight in or near a pool, spa or hot tub,” Murray said. “Seconds truly do count, and I encourage neighbors to be vigilant and take the proper steps to secure their pools and protect their children.”