A swimming pool can be a great asset to your home: a cool, relaxing haven in hot weather, a place for entertaining, a spot where you can get some healthy exercise and a source of added home value. Owning a pool also involves some risks and responsibilities, and it’s often the seemingly obvious safety measures that people forget to take. If you’re installing a pool, these basic steps may help prevent some unfortunate poolside events:

• Install fencing, barriers and lockable gates so that no one can get into your pool area without your knowledge.
• Make sure that any children using your pool are properly supervised by a responsible person.  It only takes a minute’s inattention to lose sight of a child.
• Never allow electrical appliances like radios and CD players be used near the pool.
• Inspect the pool and its surroundings for hazards, and remove items such as toys or glass bottles that could cause injury.

If you are considering installing a pool, it’s important to be aware of the insurance implications of pool ownership. An in-ground pool is an expensive structure and many above-ground pools have price tags of thousands of dollars. Consider increasing your home insurance coverage to factor in the cost of replacing your pool if it is destroyed in a storm or other disastrous event.

Another issue is liability. Most Maine home insurance policies offer some liability protection, but owning a swimming pool increases the risk of a third party being injured on your property, so if you currently have only a low level of coverage, give some thought to increasing your liability protection.