Think Pool Safety
When the hot summer sun beats down, a swimming pool is very appealing. But because pools are both attractive and potentially dangerous to young children, City of Park Ridge’s building codes require pools to be fenced and gated, and sometimes equipped with alarms.
If you’re considering a swimming pool purchase, contact the City of Park Ridge’s Building Safety Division first to determine exactly what permits are needed and what requirements you must follow.
“In-ground and above-ground pools, including inflatable pools holding more than 24 inches of water, must be surrounded by a fence or other barrier at least four feet high,” said City of Park Ridge’s Building Administrator, Steve Cutaia. “Any gates in the fence must be self-closing and self-latching.”
If a home’s wall serves as part of the swimming pool’s barrier, doors with direct access to the pool must be equipped with an alarm.
“These codes are in place for a reason,” said Cutaia. “They are added safety measures to protect you and your guests from swimming pool accidents. As a pool owner, you are responsible for anyone in your pool.”
Permits are required for all pools. Details and applications can be obtained at City Hall, in the Community Preservation and Development Department, Building Safety Division or on our web page at www.parkridge.us
Other things to consider when installing a pool include zoning requirements, electrical clearances and utility easements. Cutaia also suggests contacting your insurance agent before installing a swimming pool. Most insurance companies require additional liability coverage.
Other things to consider when installing a pool:
“Our staff works hard every day to ensure that your homes are secure,” said Cutaia. “Taking some time now to make sure the outside of your home is safe will make a more enjoyable summer for everyone.”
- Building permit requirements
- Zoning requirements
- Electrical clearances and utility easements
- Insurance policies
Porches, Decks and Balconies
As summer approaches, the City of Park Ridge Building safety division is urging homeowners to take the time to check outdoor areas for potential safety hazards. Proper inspections now can help to keep you family and friends safe in the future. “All of these codes are in place for a reason,” said City of Park Ridge, Building Administrator, Steve Cutaia. “They are added safety measures to protect you and your guests from outdoor accidents.”
Porches can be at risk of collapsing if they are not properly constructed or if they are old. The City of Park Ridgehas building codes in place that homeowners must follow when building or repairing porches. A common safety hazard occurs when porches are nailed to buildings rather than being attached with the proper anchors or bolts. Nails are a poor method for attaching porches to buildings because they work their way loose over time. Other safety hazards to look for are:
- Split or rotting wood
- Wobbly handrails or guardrails
- Loose, missing or rusting anchors, nails or screws
- Missing, damaged or loose support beams and planking
- Poor end support of the porch deck, joists or girders
- Excessive movement of the porch when walked on
- Swaying or unstable porches
Permits are required for all new decks. Details and applications can be obtained at City Hall, in the Community Preservation and Development Department, Building Safety Division or on our web page at www.parkridge.us. Building permits and an inspection, will help ensure that the porch is safe.
Grilling on or near combustible areas can be a fire hazard. It not only puts your family and visitors at risk, but, especially in condos and apartment buildings, can put your neighbors in danger as well. The most common grilling hazards are open flames and heat generated in the grill base that can be transferred to the wood of a porch, deck or siding, causing a fire. When grilling, follow these safety tips:
- Place the grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup
- Use only proper starter fluid and store the can away from heat sources
- Check propane cylinder hoses for leaks before use
- Do not move hot grills
- Dispose of charcoal properly, keeping ash containers outside and away from combustible construction
The City of Park Ridge Fire Code prohibits the use of charcoal and gas grills and other open burning devices on combustible porches or within 10 feet of combustible construction. There are exceptions for one- and two-family homes and where buildings and porches are protected by an automatic sprinkler system.
As a general reminder permits are required for all construction including but not limited to; structural, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, grading, and flatwork. Construction guideline sheets and applications can be obtained at City Hall, in the Community Preservation and Development Department, Building Safety Division or on our web page at www.parkridge.us. Building permits and inspection(s) will help ensure that the porch is safe. Contact your Building Administrator, Steve Cutaia for any questions at email or 847-318-5322.