John McCarthy, Interim Chief of Police
197 Main St.
Gloucester , MA 01930
Gloucester Fire Department
Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
City of Gloucester
Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken
9 Dale Ave
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Friday, June 9, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Officials Remind Residents of Pool and Beach Safety Precautions
GLOUCESTER — With long-overdue warm weather finally set to arrive in the coming days, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Gloucester’s public safety leaders wish to remind residents to take the proper precautions when by the water to help ensure a safe and happy summer.
Anyone looking to purchase a pool should contact the Gloucester Inspectional Services prior to doing so in order to determine which permits they may need.
More than 200 children drown in backyard swimming pools each year, according to the American Red Cross. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, so Gloucester’s public safety officials consider water safety a top priority.
“Summer is a time for residents and visitors to relax and have fun, whether at the beach or at the pool” Interim Police Chief John McCarthy said. “However, it is critical to pay attention to safety risks and take extra care to minimize them.”
Other factors to consider when installing a pool include zoning requirements, electrical clearances, utility easements and contacting your insurance agency as pools require additional liability coverage.
“Having a pool is great, especially during those hot summer days, but we want to emphasize the responsibility that comes with owning one,” Fire Chief Eric Smith said. “We want residents to take every precaution to keep everyone safe this summer.”
Residents are encouraged to know and follow these safety regulations and recommended precautions:
- Per Massachusetts regulation, pools should be surrounded by a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and has an access gate that self-closes, locks and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. Pool alarms are required whenever a house door leads directly to a pool deck.
- When swimming in the ocean, be aware that riptides are dangerous and can come on suddenly. Be aware of your surroundings and swim to the right or left to escape a rip tide.
- Never leave children unattended while they are in or near a pool or in the ocean, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water.
- Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floatation devices.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors and anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.
- Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
- Never use the pool if the chemical levels are not correct, or if the water is cloudy and you can’t see the bottom.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.
- Watch the local weather reports and do not swim if thunderstorms are in the forecast.
- Those who are 21 and older should drink responsibly if they choose to consume alcoholic beverages when by the pool. Overindulging increases the risk for injuries or accidental drowning.
- Avoid using glass containers by the pool. They could break and leave glass around the pool or in the water.
“With thousands of people coming to our beaches every summer, our greatest concern is making sure everyone is aware of potential so that we can avoid an unneccessary tragedy,” Harbormaster TJ Ciarametaro said. “Following these common sense tips is an easy way to ensure that everyone has a great summer.”
“We want everyone to get the most out of our beaches this summer,” Department of Public Works Director Mike Hale said. “We are prepared for the crowds and are looking forward to a great beach season.”
For a complete listing of Massachusetts building code regulations regarding swimming pools, click here.