By Anessa V. Cohen

Who would have thought that on Memorial Day weekend, I would be moving that little thermostat and cranking up the heat? And that wind! I do not remember ever putting on the heat so late in the season. For goodness’, sake I already opened up my pool three weeks ago and thought this would be a big swim weekend! What does this mean for the rest of the summer, and is this what global warming does–making it colder in one place and warmer where it used to be colder? I do not think I like this one bit!

It seems kind of weird to talk about pool safety this week, when everyone was home–some curling up next to their fireplaces–but talk about it we are going to do, because after this bizarre year we have had, everyone is looking forward to the nice weather, when we can all sit outside, enjoy the sun, and use the pool to relax and entertain.

The Town of Hempstead has a very good pool-safety brochure, and I will share some of their tips here with you:

– Never leave a child alone or out of your eyesight in or near the pool, spa or hot tub.

– If a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count!

– Steps and ladders to an above-ground pool should be secured and locked or removed from the pool when they are not in use.

– Do not place objects (e.g., chairs or tables) near the pool, spa, or hot-tub fence or barrier that could allow a child to climb over.

– Keep toys away from the pool, spa, or hot tub. Remove all toys from the pool after use so children are not tempted to reach for them later.

– If you use a pool, spa, or hot-tub cover, always completely remove the cover before using your pool, spa, or hot tub to avoid the possibility of anyone being trapped under the cover.

– Never use a pool or spa with a missing or broken drain cover. Be sure a new safer drain cover is in place. The new drain covers are usually dome-shaped instead the old flat drain covers.

– Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Keep a phone with emergency numbers near the pool.

– All residents with a swimming pool are required to have 5-foot non-climbable fencing surrounding the pool area, together with self-closing and latching doors (equipped with a lock).

– In addition, if your house is being used as one of those fenced sides, any exits or entrances from the house must contain an audible sound that emits when the doors have been opened or a pool alarm that has been installed in the pool as a safety.

I realize that I am repetitive each year with pool-safety tips, but every year we unfortunately hear of a new tragedy and I keep hoping that by posting these tips at the beginning of the season, we will avoid any new ones during those hot summer days.

There is also a new Town of Hempstead Building Department telephone number that has been released specifically for those residents needing assistance or information regarding Sandy-related reconstruction. The number is 516-801-5642 and the Building Department staff will be standing by Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage broker with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential and commercial real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage) in the Five Towns and throughout the tri-state area. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to

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