PHOENIX — If you haven't already, safety advocates are reminding you to check your backyard swimming pool to make sure the proper equipment is in place this summer.
Lori Schmidt with Scottsdale Fire and the Drowning Coalition of Arizona says if you have children in the home, make sure you have a fence surrounding your pool. She says one that is at least five feet tall and self-locks is the safest.
She also recommends checking for anything surrounding the pool fence that a child could climb onto.
"Having a bench or chair or even an ice chest next to your fence allows that child to have access to get over the fence and hop into the water," Schmidt said.
She says families need to keep up with the regular maintenance that a pool fence requires.
She also wants you to check that your drain cover is compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act so nothing, including you or your child, gets stuck.
"Most pools are going to have to be retrofitted, but if you built your home in the past 10 years you will already have that VGB drain cover on," she said.
Schmidt says drowning prevention also starts inside the home.
"Put door alarms on your doors and also your windows," she said. "You don’t have to have a monitoring company for that. You can actually purchase those from your hardware store.”
If you have any questions or would like for someone to assess the safety precautions you have in place surrounding your backyard pool, Schmidt says most community outreach programs through local fire departments can arrange to visit your home for free.
"We're not going to fix it for you, but we’ll be able to tell you here’s a couple of things to look out for and what you need to get fixed," she said.