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Lightning Policy

According to the US Lifeguarding association…

Summer is the most dangerous time of year for deaths and injuries due to lightning strikes. Outdoor swimming pools are especially vulnerable: though pools are typically built to be grounded, direct strikes happen and are a persistent danger. Nearby strikes can lead to issues in the pool.

    • Rain alone is not criteria for clearing the pool. However, if the rain is hard enough to the point that the lifeguard cannot see beneath the surface of the pool; the pool must be closed to swimmers.
    • In the event of heavy rain, thunder or lightning, the pool must be cleared of swimmers immediately. Everyone should seek shelter. Due to limited cover and the severity of the storm, patrons may be asked to leave the facility.
    • The pool is to remain clear of swimmers at least 30 minutes after thunder and/or the last visible lightning.
    • Remember! Just because you can’t see a thunderstorm doesn’t mean it cannot be dangerous. Lightning can travel up to 50 miles horizontally before making contact.
    • The lifeguard on duty has the final call on when patrons may get back in the pool. Please do not question their authority.


Why is this our approach?

Since you’ve scrolled down this far, I’m guessing you are pissed about getting pulled from the water by a 15 year-old lifeguard.  Hopefully, you’ve cooled off since then, but still, for some reason only liquor and therapy can determine, you can’t let it go.  Here are the gory details.

Our guards are using the “Weather Bug” app to determine how close the lightening strikes are to the pool.  If the strike is closer than 10 miles, we will evacuate the pool for 30 minutes.   You can download the app and follow along on the fun.

Lightning’s behavior is random and unpredictable. The National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  recommend a very conservative attitude towards it. Preparedness and quick responses are the best defenses towards the lightning hazard.
Despite the distance from the storm, swimming pools are connected to a much larger surface area via underground water pipes, gas lines, electric and telephone wiring, etc. Lightning strikes to the ground anywhere on this metallic network may induce shocks elsewhere.

In general,  Applewood Knolls follows the approach outlined by the American Red Cross..  Their Lightning Guidelines can be found and enjoyed here.

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