Health & Safety Information

Health & Safety Information

Keep children safe by the pool

All villas, townhouses & condos have a guest directory manual with safety information specific to that particular vacation home. Please take the time to read this information on your arrival and to familiarise yourself with the safety features and the layout of the vacation home. In particular, if you have children with you, take time to point out to members of your group, the areas of concern such as the pool area and on the stairs or balcony should your home be on two or more levels. If you have any questions or concerns, the property management company will be pleased to assist you with any queries; you will find their contact details in the guest directory manual.

Florida is the dream vacation capital of the World and we want to ensure that all of our villas, townhouses and condos are as ‘child-friendly’ as possible. However, care should always be taken around the pool area with the supervision of children at all times. Some vacation homes are better suited than others for young children and the less mobile, with that in mind we always advise you to investigate the property as much as possible through our detailed listings before booking.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to call us on 01295 275752 to discuss your concerns.

Despite all our efforts and the advice given on our website and in the guest directory manual, it is ultimately your responsibility for the safety of your family and other members of your group. If you or members of your group should have an accident anywhere on the vacation home you need to report this to the property management company as soon as possible.

All of our vacation homes are fitted with smoke detector(s) and in the event of a fire, you should vacate the property immediately and ensure that all of your group are safe and accounted for; do not attempt to collect personal belongings prior to leaving the property. Only then, call the emergency services.

SWIMMING POOLS

There are numerous laws concerning pools in Florida homes, which have to be adhered to.

Required Safety Measures for Residential Pools

The best way to prevent drowning is constant adult supervision of children and medically frail elderly people. However, as a backup, state law in Florida requires homes that have swimming pools, spas or hot tubs to also have at least one safety feature in place. Under the law, swimming pools are defined as structures that contain water that is more than 24 inches, or 2 feet, deep. The law for residential swimming pools is outlined in the Preston de Ibern/McKenzie Merriam Residential Pool Safety Act. It requires owners to choose at least one of four safety measures when they install a pool, spa or hot tub.

  1. One of the viable safety measures is a barrier that isolates the pool from the home, which could be a fence or a wall, or a combination of both, that surrounds the pool. The barrier should prevent access to the swimming pool from the residence or from the yard. It must be at least 4 feet high. Most of our pool homes have a Pool Safety Fence - the rest have Pool Door Alarms.
  2. Another approved safety measure is a pool cover that’s either manual- or power-operated and meets standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials.
  3. Or, homes with pools can have an exit alarm equipped on all doors and windows that have direct access to the pool. Under the law, the alarm must make an audible, continuous alarm sound any time a door or window that allows direct access from the residence to the pool area is opened or left ajar.
  4. The final safety precaution that is allowed under Florida law is a self-closing, self-latching child-safe device on all doors and gates that provide direct access to the residential pool.

Other Florida Pool Laws

Under the residential pool safety law, pool contractors are also required to provide customers with a copy of the statute and a drowning prevention publication, “Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools.” the state requires that swimming pools and spa pools with heaters do not exceed a maximum temperature of 90 degrees F (~ 32 degrees C).

It is an offence to tamper with pool equipment that can normally be found to the side of the property. All pools have warning notices around the pool for your own safety.

The swimming pool is for some people an essential part of the holiday but please remember, if misused they can be very dangerous, a little common sense will ensure you have a good time.

  • Make sure you know the depths of the pool by checking the markings at each end of the pool.
  • Please observe our strict no diving policy.
  • Do not run around the poolside, this especially applies to children with wet feet. Some areas may be slippery when wet.
  • Do not go out of your depth and know your own limits.
  • Beware of slippery surfaces, drainage channels or raised edges.
  • Always supervise children and non-swimmers in and around the pool area.
  • Avoid swimming if you have been drinking alcohol, especially late at night. Do not swim within 1 hour of eating - it can be fatal.

SWIMMING POOL ACCIDENT OR CLOSURE

In the event of an accident in or around the immediate area of the pool, you must report this straight away to the property manager, who will attend the vacation home. Any fault with the pool or its equipment will be inspected and immediate action is taken to correct the problem. If in the opinion of the property manager the pool must be closed for your safety until a repair is facilitated, you must follow their instructions.

SWIMMING POOL HEATING

Pool heating is an optional extra, if paid for before arrival the heating will be turned on before your arrival where possible otherwise, it can take 24 hours to reach the desired heat. Some homes are fitted with solar heating while this can take the chill off the water it can never replace gas, electric or heat pump pool heating.

If the pool has a cover, please use it. It will significantly increase & maintain the temperature of the water. But care must be taken at all times when a pool cover is used to ensure the safety of users, especially children. A deployed floating pool blanket can be dangerous if a person falls onto it as it could wrap around you as you struggle which could result in drowning.

IMPORTANT - COMPLY WITH SAFETY RULES

It is your duty to comply with safety rules with poolside fencing and doors that are alarmed; removal of batteries from door alarms is a criminal offence

A pool fence (whether permanent or optionally removable) is not a substitute for proper parental supervision and parents should supervise children around the pool area at all times. It may well be possible for an unsupervised robust child to lift the fences out of the ground supports, to push or pull a pool fence over, or to pull any gaps apart. The pool fences are designed, manufactured and installed with the sole intention to stop toddlers wandering into an unprotected pool area. Please always ensure the locking mechanism on the pool gate is working and never prop the gate open.

INFINITY OR SPILLOVER SWIMMING POOLS

Some of our properties may have ‘Splash Pools’ and should be treated in exactly the same way as ordinary pools.

SWIMMING POOL WATER / COLOUR EFFECT ON CHEMICALLY TREATED HAIR

Chlorine is a natural bleaching agent. The more the pool is used and the warmer the weather, the more chemicals are required to keep swimming pool water safe to use. This can react with certain fabrics and dyes used on them, causing them to lighten or discolour. Many items of swimwear carry warnings to this effect and I Want A Villa does not accept any responsibility for any damage caused to client's property, whilst complying with our contractual obligations to ensure your swimming pool remains safe to use.

We would advise that certain chemically treated hair may also develop a green tinge. This reaction is natural and does not mean the chemical balance of water is incorrect. Please ensure you rinse your hair thoroughly in freshwater after using the pool. Suitable shampoos are available both in the UK and locally in most supermarkets or drugstores.

AIR CONDITIONING

All homes are fitted with Air Conditioning. When the AC is on always remember to close all windows and doors, if not you will cause the AC to work harder and this may result in AC unit freezing up, with a cost of several hundred dollars to repair.

GLASS WINDOWS AND DOORS

Please be very careful with windows, especially full-length glass patio doors. The glass may not be toughened and occasionally, in a strange environment, accidents occur more easily than they can do so at home.

LOCAL BEACHES

Please be aware of the local safety precautions when you visit the beaches. At all times for your own safety comply with the suggestions of local lifeguards, warning notices or flag systems.

LINEN AND WASHING MACHINES

Washing & drying machines are provided in all villas but you will be required to purchase soap powder & fabric conditioner locally and the supermarkets carry most of the popular brands.

GAS SUPPLY

Where gas water heaters are used in villas, they are subject to inspection by local qualified engineers and a worthiness certificate issued. For additional peace of mind, a carbon monoxide detector will be provided where gas appliances are installed indoors.

DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS (DVT)

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition which has the potential to affect travellers regardless of the mode of transport. The risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is extremely low. However, any travel involving prolonged immobility can result in DVT. This occurs when a blood clot forms, usually in the lower leg.

This is a serious medical condition and needs treatment with blood-thinning drugs or anticoagulants to prevent clots breaking off from the DVT and travelling to the lungs, vital organs or brain causing significant illness and, on rare occasions, death.

People at increased risk include those with a history of thrombosis, those taking an oral contraceptive pill or who are pregnant, those recently hospitalised, smokers, the obese, some patients with congestive heart failure and people with malignant disease. Dehydration may exacerbate the problem.

Here are a few suggestions, which may help to make your journey home more comfortable and reduce the risk:

  • Drink plenty of water and limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid smoking before travel.
  • Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothes.
  • Try to walk around the aircraft cabin at regular intervals.
  • Avoid crossing your legs.

Remember to pack any prescription medicine in your hand baggage and take it in accordance with your doctor's instructions

It may be helpful to wear elastic stockings during the flight.

EYE PROTECTION

In holiday destinations, it is important to protect your eyes against damage from the sun. We recommend that prior to travel you contact an 'eye professional' for advice on how to minimise your risk.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS

If you or any member of your party has a medical condition, you must contact your travel insurance company at the time of booking, to report any pre-existing condition. That way you can ensure you are covered for all eventualities.

SECURITY

Crimes against people and property are a fact of life and you have the same responsibility for your personal safety as you do at home. All clients should be extra vigilant and ensure great care is taken to secure the property and your possessions. Be sure to check, close and lock all the vacation home windows, shutters and doors at night. Set the security devices (if provided) when you are away from the villa during the day or at night time or when you are in bed, depending on the type of system installed. Additionally, take care to lock your villa when you are relaxing around the swimming pool. Most homes are fitted with a safe, use this as it may invalidate any insurance claim.

In the event of theft, report this to your local Sheriff (911) and inform the property manager as in the case of a break-in, who may need to make some repairs to secure the property. Be sure you obtain a police report covering the incident or loss, in order to make a claim on your holiday insurance. Please be aware it can take a considerable length of time to make a police report.

CHILDREN'S SAFETY

Children are naturally curious where there are lots of things and areas to explore. Ensure your children are not left unsupervised at any time and be especially careful with balconies, swimming pools and other potentially dangerous areas such as stairs. There are many developments that back on to small lakes, some have pathways that allow you to walk around the lake, take extra care with children when walking lakeside.

SMALL LAKES

In Florida, there is one golden rule when it comes to water; Florida is almost as famous for its Alligators as it is for the theme parks, the golden rule is WHERE THERE IS WATER - THERE MAY BE AN ALLIGATOR. You may be fascinated by an Alligator in the wild, but be aware, Alligators are cute animals - they are predators and Alligators have been known to attack small children and pets with tragic consequences. Never feed an Alligator - it's against the law and an Alligator cannot understand the difference between the food you are giving it and your child.

ROAD SAFETY

Traffic in the USA, drive on the opposite side of the road (RIGHT) as we do in the UK, take extra care when crossing the roads on foot, always use designated crossings.

TRAVEL ADVICE

For more information about your chosen destination and for the latest travel advice we recommend that you refer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.