Skip to content

Stay safe during summer fun


The start of the summer season is upon us, and it’s a busy time around the water. Backyard and neighborhood swimming pools are a great way to spend time with family and friends during the warm weather months. Having a pool, spa, pond, lake, or hot tub on your property is a huge responsibility when it comes to being safe. It’s important to remember that a person can drown quickly in any amount of water.

Firefighters suggest following simple safety rules to prevent swimming pool and water-related emergencies:

  • Supervise – Never take your eyes off children in and around the water. Designate a responsible adult to be a “Water Watcher” while at the swimming pool, lake, or river. Teach children that they should never swim alone or unsupervised. 
  • Use barriers – Fences with self-closing/self-latching gates and secured doors with access alarms can prevent small children from wandering into the swimming pool or hot tub. Gates should close and lock automatically. Latches for pool access should be out of the reach of children.
  • Avoid entrapments – Suction from a pool drain is so powerful it can easily trap an unsuspecting adult or child. Use protective covers to keep swimmers safe.
  • Learn to swim – All family members should learn how to swim. Consider teaching children how to swim at a young age, usually around the age of four.
  • Know how to respond – Learn CPR and know basic water rescue skills. Post emergency numbers by the telephone. Have water rescue equipment such as a lifesaving ring, pole, and AED near the pool deck.
  • Follow the rules – Be sure to follow all posted rules. No diving in the shallow end, no pushing, and no running on the pool deck. Obey the lifeguard if one is provided.
  • River safety – When visiting the Chattahoochee River, be sure to check the water generation schedule at Buford Dam by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 770.945.1466. Stay alert to changing water conditions and inclement weather. Life jackets are required to be worn by law from Buford Dam to the Highway 20 Bridge. Avoid being on the river during generation times and until the water level and current recedes to normal flow.   

In addition to swimming pool safety tips, fire and emergency services professionals are also encouraging the safe use of outdoor grills and fireworks.

  • Outdoor grilling safety – Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed well away from the home and deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. Never leave the grill unattended during cooking. Make sure the lid is open on gas grills before lighting. When using a charcoal grill, never add lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid to the fire. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area. 
  • Fireworks safety – The best advice is to leave fireworks to the professional. Never allow children to play with fireworks. Follow all package instructions when using consumer fireworks. Fireworks should be discharged away from buildings and vehicles and be sure to have a water hose and portable fire extinguisher close at hand. Wet down the area before and after using fireworks. Spent fireworks devices should be soaked in a bucket of water for a considerable time before being discarded in the trash. 

For additional information on swimming pool safety and preventing water-related emergencies, you can visit www.gwinnettsafety411.com or contact the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction Division at 678.518.4845 or fireprograms@gwinnettcounty.com.