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Meeting Requirements With Pool Signs

May 12, 2020

Each state has its own specific pool laws that affect signage in public places such as apartments, hotels, and resorts. Pool signs serve multiple purposes, as they not only inform and warn swimmers, they protect property owners from lawsuits. Drowning tragedies have led to stricter laws regarding warnings and liability. Here are key points to know about posting public pool signs.

Public and Private Pool Safety

One of the main concerns about both public and private swimming pools is that the water is clean and maintained properly. Without this oversight, pools can spread various illnesses, particularly affecting the eyes and ears. It’s important for both commercial and residential pool owners to be careful how they treat water with chemicals. Anything that is a threat to public health should be disclosed through signage.

Signage at pools adds to an atmosphere of safety, as not all pools are used the same way. Some pools, for example, are not made for diving, so a ‘no diving’ warning serves as a reminder that the water is too shallow with a depth of six feet or less. Any pool sign needs to be posted in a conspicuous place where it can easily be seen by anyone. The message should be clear and easy to read.

Safety Warnings

In California, public pool signs must say ‘warning: no lifeguard on duty’ in places without supervision. They must also warn that “children under the age of 14 shall not use pool without a parent or guardian in attendance.” Signage should include an illustrated diagram with text on artificial respiration and CPR procedures. There should be an additional emergency sign posted displaying the number 911.

Since many public pools at parks close at night, part of the pool signage should say ‘no use after dark’ along with the park hours. Pool signs can get deeper into health warnings and risks of drowning. Responders should be able to tell from signage where the emergency shut off switch is located.

Owner Liability

Failure to post pool warning signs can lead to expensive fines. So staying on top of appropriate pool signage must be considered a priority. Pool warning signs protect owners from personal injury claims if the risks are stated clearly. But if there is not signage to warn pool users of potential dangerous chemicals in the water, the owner could be held liable.

Usually a ‘swim at your own risk’ sign isn’t good enough to avoid liability. Every pool owner has to thoroughly review a long checklist of responsiblities according to various federal, state, and local regulations, along with safety standards. Again, each state has its own laws on pool owner responsibilities to protect the public.


Swimming pools are often resources shared by multiple community members. Conveying rules is essential for pool owners to ensure each individual has the same understanding of how to use the facility. Contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location to learn more about pool signs and other types of organizational signage.

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