School is over and summer has arrived. Hempstead Town, in partnership with Cablevision and King Kullen, reminded residents on Tuesday, June 28th at Blue Grass Lane Pool in Levittown that it is time to get serious about pool safety. Town lifeguards demonstrated a pool rescue in the wake of a near drowning at a Long Island home, officials announced the availability of a pool safety guide and pool workers displayed a pool alarm and detailed important safety tips.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, joined by Councilman Gary Hudes, Receiver of Taxes Donald Clavin and Town Clerk Mark Bonilla, Cablevision Government Affairs Director Jeff Clark and King Kullen Vice President of Store Operations Tony Femminella, discussed important safety tips for residents to stay cool and be safe at the pool this summer.
Pools are refreshing spots to beat the sweltering summer heat. But without taking certain safety precautions, they can be dangerous.
"Year after year, communities are struggle to cope with tragedies involving children and home swimming pools," Murray said. "We are here to encourage residents to take a proactive approach to pool safety, whether in their backyard or at many of our town pools. Some of these simple preventative measures can save lives."
A free pool safety brochure, released by Hempstead Town in cooperation with Cablevision and King Kullen, is available at all town pools, at Cablevision customer centers and local King Kullen supermarkets. Residents can also receive a copy in the mail by calling (516) 812-3272. Some of the safety tips outlined in the brochure include:
- Never leave a child alone or out of sight at a pool
- If a child is missing, check the pool first
- Secure or remove steps on above ground pools when not in use
- Never use a pool with a broken or missing drain cover
- Keep emergency rescue equipment and emergency phone numbers by the pool
- A rope float line should be placed across the pool, alerting swimmers of the separation of the deep end from the shallow end
All pools must be permitted by the local town/jurisdiction and are required to have physical barriers surrounding them (many other safety restrictions also apply)
Murray takes pool safety seriously. The supervisor crafted a law that requires all pools in the town to be alarmed. Murray's pool alarm law, passed by the town board in 2008, states that all homeowner swimming pools located in the unincorporated areas of the town must have an alarm that detects a child entering the water. According to the law, the poolside alarm must emit an 85-decibel alert and remote device that must be located at a second site of the home.
The Hempstead Town Pool Safety Law is more stringent than New York State legislation. State law requires alarms for homeowners that built or significantly altered pools after Dec. 14, 2006. The town's pool safety legislation includes all pools within the unincorporated boundaries of the Town of Hempstead.
"Prevent a tragedy by installing a pool alarm today," Hudes said. "Pool alarms are not only necessary, but they are mandated in the Town of Hempstead."
Teaching children to swim is also an important component in preventing accidental drowning. Each summer, the Town of the Hempstead teaches thousands of kids how to swim at various locations throughout the township.
"We advise residents of all ages to apply these vital and sometimes life-saving safety measures," Murray said. "Protect your loved ones and enjoy a safe summer in and around your pool."
"We are excited to team-up with Hempstead Town and King Kullen once again to promote these important life-saving pool safety tips," said Jeff Clark, Cablevision's director of Government Affairs. "We encourage residents to pick up one of the pool safety brochures that are available at any of Cablevision's customer centers."
"Customers can pick up this valuable pool safety brochure at our local King Kullen supermarket locations," said Tony Femminella, vice president of Store Operations. "We are delighted to partner with Hempstead Town and Cablevision to educate residents on vital tips for safeguarding against danger in and around the pool."