City cracking down on unsecured and abandoned pools - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

City cracking down on unsecured and abandoned pools

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -The City of Lawton is going after homeowners with pools that aren't properly fenced or are abandoned.

Wide open pools are dangerous for children who may wander too close, fall in, and drown. The rules even apply to kiddie pools that have more than a foot of water in them. Drownings are a the leading cause of death and injury to children under 5.

The city says they've been getting a lot of complaints from neighbors and home daycares that are concerned about this issue...especially with kids being outside and able to wander to a places where they should not be.

This backyard pool was drained and then filled up again multiple times after Joshua Leach, The City of Lawton Neighborhood services supervisor warned the homeowner to fix the fence around their yard.

"We notify the homeowner of the problem that these are emergency situations where potential loss of life could be instantaneous, so we tell them put the fences back up, secure the fences, secure the pool or drain the pool and then secure the fences that way it resolves the problem that way it resolves the problem and we eliminated the potential risk of loss of life," said Leach.

Abandoned or unsecure pools cause other neighborhood problems too.

"They can't go outside without mosquitoes eating them up or the flying insects," said Leach. "They have a problem with snakes because now they have frogs and other rodents have come into the property and made a home there."

According to city code, even these kiddy pools that are in front of homes that have more than one foot of water in them are considered pools and have to be secured.

Leach asks for everyone to be on the lookout and report issues to keep the community safe.

"No body knows neighborhoods better than residents themselves," said Leach. "So we very much encourage residents to make contact with our division to let us know these kind of problems that way we can take actions. We're very busy and limited in staff. We can't address all the problems we don't know about."

Leach says if the the home is abandoned and there is no one left in the property owners family to take care of it, the city will secure the fences and eliminate the pool. If the property owner just refuses to put up the fence or maintain the area, they could receive a fine up to $750 or even be arrested.

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