With warm weather on the rise, it’s important your condominium, homeowner (HOA), and/or townhome community associations are primed for pool season. While pools are a great asset to a community, they can also be a risk or liability if associations are not equipped with the correct rules, appropriate signage, and safety measures.
Depending on the community’s needs, lifeguards may be a factor in pool safety. They also present additional issues that the association will need to address, including:
- Emergency procedures
- Insurance requirements
Below are three issues board members and property managers should know when it comes to lifeguards and community pools.
1. Determine if hiring a lifeguard is right for a community association
Rather than a lifeguard, the association may utilize a pool monitor to assist in enforcing the rules. However, rules vary by state and municipality so board members and property managers will need to check with their legal counsel regarding lifeguard requirements.
Association should also be aware that, at times, there can be a nation-wide lifeguard shortage. This has already forced some public pools to remain closed for the season. This shortage may affect an association’s ability to hire lifeguards or even the ability of a lifeguard service vendor to hire staff, requiring researching other options with respect to operating and monitoring your pool.
2. Hiring a lifeguard
Boards and property managers given the task of hiring a lifeguard for their association must ensure the lifeguard/s are properly licensed. This can include certifications in CPR, first aid, and emergency response.
Lifeguard service vendors typically provide licensing and certification information. Additionally, they also maintain the proper insurance coverage to indemnify and defend the association in the event of an incident.
3. Update your rules to provide clarity and minimize risk
As with any association vendor, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of the lifeguard’s responsibilities. Along with monitoring swimming safety, lifeguards may be assigned other duties including managing pool passes, testing pool water, and conducting basic maintenance checks.
The association’s governing documents should also address the rules surrounding pool usage, including:
- Safety and conduct policies
- Waiver or release requirements
- Hours of availability
- Age requirements
- Supervision requirements
- Food and beverage allowances (ex. alcohol)
- Guest accessibility
Along with lifeguards, there are several other concerns when it comes to association pools, including: maintenance, fencing, signage, compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act, and Fair Housing Act considerations.
To help make your association’s summer season a success, contact KSN if you have questions regarding legal requirements, vendor contract review, insurance coverage, rules, and regulations.
You can reach our law firm by calling 847-537-0500 or visiting our website at www.ksnlaw.com.
Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collections, landlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We have four office locations, serving hundreds of clients and thousands of communities throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Our attorneys are also licensed in Arizona, Florida, and Missouri.
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