The summer season is a ready welcome every June given our Midwest winters in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. However, with the warmer temperatures are considerations your communities may face during this time of year. Here are some reminders for issues most common to the summer months.

Swimming Pools

Pools can be an added treat for those who are lucky enough to live in a community that has one. However, Associations need to be aware of the risks they pose. It is important that an Association have rules and regulations associated with the use of a pool.  Determine what rules and regulations best suit your specific community and tailor them accordingly. Also be sure that rules stay enforced and posted within the pool space.

Here are some pool safety tips:

  • Illinois law does not require an association to hire lifeguards. However, Illinois public health codes govern swimming pool standards and the rules address lifeguards, which are only required when an association allows “persons under the age of 16” to be in the pool area without a parent, guardian or responsible person over 16.
  • The risk of a pool related accident increases significantly when alcohol is allowed. Consider that risk and assess whether or not alcohol will be allowed by the Association.
  • The Private Swimming Pool Enclosure Act amends the Counties Code and the Illinois Municipal Code. The Act requires that new outdoor swimming pools on private residential property be enclosed by a fence, wall, or other effective permanent barrier of 42 inches or greater height. The act does not apply to above ground pools with a height of 42 inches or more or to Jacuzzis.
  • Keep your pools clean, maintained and equipped.
  • Keep children safe, even if it means there is no lifeguard on duty; make sure your residents know that children must be supervised (whether or not a lifeguard is on duty).

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, they highlight some pool safety considerations your communities should be aware of. It is important that you contact an attorney who can help navigate this process and advise accordingly, especially when constructing a new pool, making improvements to an existing policy or pool area, or just assessing risks and changes to the law.

Fourth of July

Independence Day is a summer staple every year, but it is arguably one of the most hazardous holidays. Fireworks are often a big part of American celebrations, especially the Fourth of July; yet they can pose damage to persons and property.

Condominium, Homeowner, and Townhome Associations should remind their respective communities of the firework rules and regulations in place to keep both people and property safe. Your communities likely do not know the fireworks laws of your state, city, or municipality. Accordingly, it’s always a good idea to share what the laws in your area say as far as fireworks are concerned.

Of note: Illinois law bans all types of fireworks. The only legal items are considered to be novelty. The Pyrotechnic Use Act (“PUA”) in Illinois specifically says that certain things are not consumer fireworks and are therefore legal. The list of what’s legal includes:

  • Sparklers
  • A limited amount of small cap guns
  • Snake or glow worm pellets
  • Smoke devices or smoke bombs
  • Trick noisemakers known as party poppers
  • Booby traps
  • Snappers
  • Trick matches
  • Cigarette loads
  • Auto burglar alarms

The Pyrotechnic Use Act (“PUA”) in Illinois bans the sale, possession, and use of all “consumer fireworks.” Many people cross borders to nearby Indiana or Wisconsin to purchase legally, such as bottle rockets and roman candles. However, once one enters Illinois with these products, they are in violation of the law. Violations of the PUA can result in up to 1 year in prison and a $2500 fine.

Federal law also bans many types of fireworks. These include: M-80s and cherry bombs, along with any firecrackers with more than 50 milligrams of pyrotechnic composition. Local ordinances often add an additional level of regulation on top of the federal and Illinois laws. The small amount of fireworks that is still legal after the federal and state bans can also be banned by municipalities.

Associations should remind their communities that fireworks should be left to the professionals. Not only are they dangerous, but the vast majority of these products are illegal in the state of Illinois.  It is recommended that you pass along information to your communities well ahead of the Independence Day to ensure a safe and enjoyable time with family and friends.

BBQ Grills

Associations often have the liberty of enforcing whether or not they regulate their communities when it comes to backyard or balcony grilling. Be sure to assess your communities’ hazards impartially and determine the best course of action specific to your needs.

Local ordinances vary considerably on this issue, so it is important to make sure your communities’ rules and regulations concerning having grills on patios and balconies are in compliance with the law. If you have any questions or concerns, on this issue an attorney at KSN will be able to assist you navigate this process.


KSN wishes you a safe and enjoyable summer season and Independence Day. If you are a landlord or property manager and have concerns regarding these issues and their effect on your property, please do not hesitate to contact Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit at 847-537-0500 or visit our website at

Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collectionslandlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We represent thousands of clients and community associations throughout the US with offices in several states including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2017 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.