Public pools are one of the most popular summer recreational facilities. Hence, they require regular upkeep and maintenance lest they become the hotspot for a range of health and safety issues. A lot goes into ensuring public pools are safe to use, from scrubbing the pool surface, changing rooms, and bathrooms to draining and replacing water, and undertaking in-depth cleaning, replacement, repair, and disinfection. These activities require pools to be made inaccessible for hours, days, or weeks.
Additionally, public pools are closed during the off-season. Closing the pool may also be a conditional requirement prescribed by local jurisdictions, as in New Jersey. The state requires that campgrounds, hotels, motels, mobile home parks, or retirement communities use signs that state, “This swimming area shall be closed when the owner or manager is not on the premises.”
“Pool Closed” signs are simple yet effective communication tools to mark that the pool is not open for use. These are crucial communicators that prevent potential accidents or health hazards should unaware users enter the pool when it is unfit for use. For businesses, the signs keep away the instances of unhappy or even irate customers by providing information on time. These even go on to reinforce a positive image of the facility and build confidence in existing and potential users that the facility is proactive and bears their well-being in mind.
Certain jurisdictions do require the use of “Pool Closed” signs. For instance, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma prescribe that these signs be used when the pool is not open for use. In Jefferson County, a “Pool Closed” sign or a warning sign is required when there is no lifeguard on duty. Many other states and counties have similar requirements.
Other than this, “Pool Closed” signs may also be required as part of fall protection to create an OSHA-compliant workplace that alerts workers of an empty swimming pool.
The use of “Pool Closed” signs is not restricted to commercial/public establishments alone. These signs are highly recommended for any facility that sees a large number of users. Residential establishments like apartment complexes should also use these signs as effective communicators of pool unavailability. This is particularly important for the safety of children and visitors who may remain unaware otherwise.
Where required by law, not using “Pool Closed” signs can invite penalties and may even lead to the shut down of the facility in question. Where not a legal requirement, closing pools without clear communication/reminders may lead to dissatisfaction among patrons and even discourage potential users. Should any unfortunate event happen and it is established that an absence of a sign was a contributing factor, the facility may be held liable and attract significant penal action.