Back to Blog

Limiting Liability and Saving Lives with Pool Signs

November 7, 2018

Swimming pools represent both recreation and danger, especially when children are present. While many people might assume that everyone in a pool area knows how to swim, some visitors are there just to get sun without knowing the basics of swimming or CPR. That’s why pool signs can play a profound role in protecting lives, by reminding adults about water safety.

Common Pool Signs

  • Pool Hours and Rules
  • No Swimming
  • Caution: No Diving
  • Pool Safety and CPR Guidelines
  • Slippery When Wet
  • Children Must Have Adult Supervision
  • Danger: Chlorine Gas
  • No Lifeguard on Duty
  • Pool Closed after Dark

Liability and the Law

Laws requiring that signs be posted near public swimming pools vary among states. Hotels or apartment complexes can be held liable for damages if they fail to post the proper signage in the pool area, as mandated by state law. If there is no lifeguard on duty, people need to be reminded to swim at their own risk and to follow all posted rules.

Additionally, it’s important to follow state fencing laws regarding pools. Fencing laws, which also vary at state and local levels, are partly designed to protect children who can’t swim from wandering into pool areas. Fences can be useful for physically supporting signs.

It’s up to every individual owner of a public pool to learn the laws about signage at the federal, state and local levels. Keep in mind that even if signs and fences are posted properly, an owner can still be held liable for a person drowning on their property. All the same, conscientious signage is an essential first step.

Requirements in California, Arizona and Washington

Many states require that pool hours be posted at public pools and include age requirements for children. Some states require signs to express diving warnings, maximum capacity, emergency phone numbers and sanitation rules. Arizona requires “No Diving” signs for public pools less than 5 feet deep. These signs must be posted within 50 feet of the pool. The letters must be at least 4 inches in height. Other state requirements can be found reading the Arizona Administrative Code.

California also requires warnings with 4 inch text, as per the California Building Code (Title 24). Public pool signs must be clearly visible and attached to a permanent structure. The signs must carry warnings regarding parental supervision of children, maximum user capacity, emergency information and various other rules. Owners of private pools, however, are not required by the state to post signage, but it can still help you guard your liability.

Washington has several unique state laws about pool signs, as specified by the Washington Administrative Code. Safety rules include “no food or drink in the pool water,” “no running or horseplay” and “all swimmers must take a cleansing shower before entering the pool.” The state also forbids individuals with communicable diseases from entering public pools.


Keeping public swimming areas safe is essential for promoting these facilities as family fun. Posting the appropriate pool signs will help make adults and children conscious of the water safety rules that make swimming pleasant, relaxing and enjoyable. For more information about pool signs, call Zumar at our California, Arizona or Washington location.

Product Added

Go to Quote Request Form

Continue Product Search