Summertime Safety

May 20, 2014    Patrick Prendiville, CIRMS Prendiville Insurance Agency    Homeowner Tips, Safety

Patrick PrenivilleSummer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets, having friends over for a barbeque and jumping in the pool -- and, oh by the way, can we use the clubhouse this Saturday afternoon for our high school reunion?

For many people summer is the best time of the year, and the fun is greatly enhanced by all the amenities of living in an association. But, summertime activities present certain hazards for the participants as well as the association. Here is a quick guide on how to manage some of these hazards in order to have the best summer possible.

Clubhouse Use:

A homeowner wants to use your association’s clubhouse for a party. Do you have certain guidelines in place as to what sort of party they may have? How many people can attend? What if they plan on having a children’s bounce-house? But most importantly, who will be liable if something bad were to happen, either to the clubhouse itself or worse, to a guest?

How can the association be covered in case of accidents that result from a homeowner using the clubhouse?

A great option is an “Additional Insured Endorsement.”

The homeowner resident who wants to rent the clubhouse should contact his own insurance agent and get an insurance certificate which names your association and community management company as an Additional Insured. This document states that the individual homeowner would be responsible for any liability issues, property damage, guest medical, personal property and more, up to the policy limits. So, let’s say the homeowner is having a party at the clubhouse and a friend of his walks through the sliding-glass door and is injured. By listing your association as the Additional Insured on the homeowner’s condo or home insurance policy for this one-day event, the homeowner’s insurance would take care of this problem, and not the association’s insurance.

Barbeque Use:

July is the peak month for barbeque fires. Between 2005 to 2009, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,200 home fires a year involving barbeque grills. These 8,200 fires caused an average 15 civilian deaths, 120 reported injuries and $75 Million in property damage.

What can you do?

Keep open flame cooking off of balconies and at least 10 feet from combustible materials such as your house, fence, patio cover and trees.

Do not leave barbeques unattended, especially around children.

Keep a fire extinguisher and telephone nearby.

Avoid over exposure to smoke: As much as we all love the smell of the barbeque, it is best to avoid inhaling. Remember, the younger you are when you are exposed to smoke, the worse the outcome.

Watch the lighter fluid: Lighter fluids cause all kinds of problems and you really should find a better way to light your coals.

Pool Use:

Living in Southern California, most of us understand the fun as well as the danger associated with a swimming pool. The safety requirements of the pool as well as the swimmers are many.

Let’s cover some basics as a reminder:

Besides appropriate fencing, pools should have a life ring with a rope as well as a 12-foot pole with a body hook.

Pool gates as well as doors from clubhouses or buildings that enter into the pool area should be self-closing and self-latching. Also, gates should allow for a keyless exit.

Constant adult supervision of children is essential.

Do not rely on air filled or foam toys (water wings, noodles or inner-tubes) as personal flotation devices to prevent drowning.

Never swim alone.

Forbid bathers to use alcohol or drugs before, or while, swimming.

Ensure that main drain covers are securely in place and not damaged.

Only allow swimming when the water is clear enough to easily see the main drain at the bottom of the pool.

With schools almost out and the summer heat starting to come around, it’s a good idea to spend a few moments thinking about these safety tips in order to avoid a memorable summer for all the wrong reasons. Instead, I hope you have a great and safe Summer!


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