Monthly Safety Message 

The Annapolis Fire Department Urges Pool Safety

Annapolis, MD – Summer is upon us, schools are almost out, temperatures are rising, and the appeal of swimming pools are clear.  The Annapolis Fire Department wants its citizens to relax and enjoy their summer, but be safe.  Children are at the highest risk for drowning and near-drowning incidents.  Annapolis Fire Chief David L. Stokes Sr. advises that a few safety precautions can prevent drowning tragedies.

According to the 2018 Drowning Report from the Consumer Protection Safety Commission:

  • Backyard pools appear to be the most dangerous with 85% of all drowning fatalities for children under 5 years old are in residential locations.
  • Approximately 351 drowning fatalities occur each year, 76% of those are children under 5 years old.
  • Approximately 6400 emergency room visits for nonfatal drowning injuries occur each year, 73% of those are for children less than 5 years old.

The Annapolis Fire Department urges all swimmers to adhere to the following tips to keep you safe this summer season:

  • Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Always supervise small children while they are in the water.  They should be no more than an arm’s length away.
  • Never leave children unattended while around the pool.
  • Ensure proper life jackets and/or age appropriate coast guard approved flotation devices are available.
  • Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool unexpectedly.
  • Secure your pool with a minimum of a 4 (four) foot high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
  • Ensure everyone in the home learns how to swim.
  • Keep the pool/spa 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.
  • Establish rules for the pool deck such as “No Diving,” “Swim with a Buddy” and “No Running.”
  • Avoid alcohol use if you are going swimming.  It impairs judgment and coordination and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
  • Keep toys that are not in use away from the area around the pool so young children aren’t attracted to play near the edge of the pool.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first… SECONDS COUNT!  Call 9-1-1 if necessary.
  • Make sure everyone knows the number to dial in case of an emergency… 9-1-1
  • Ensure an adult supervising knows CPR.  Have children learn CPR, it will be something that will stay with them for a lifetime!  The Annapolis Fire Department offers CPR courses for all interested citizens.  For information about CPR certification, please email CPR@annapolis.gov, or call the Emergency Medical Services Division at 410-263-7978.
  • Visit the CPSC at Pool Safely for additional information.

Thank you for making pool safety a priority. The Annapolis Fire Department wishes everyone a safe summer season!