Pool Safety

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As a landlord or property manager, offering use of a swimming pool is a great way to attract more tenants. Especially in New Mexico where the summer temperatures can reach 100 degrees. Swimming is a great way to exercise, relax, and keep the kids entertained during the seemingly endless school breaks. But as with any amenity, maintenance and safety regulations must be followed to the letter to avoid accidents and fines.

Across the board, there are basic safety guidelines for any pool. The CDC states: “ there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.” In addition to drowning-related deaths, nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).

So, as you can see, pool safety should be one of your top priorities as a property manager. People’s lives literally depend on it.

Most rental properties are required to have child-proof fencing with a locking gate. This fencing isn’t just for children’s safety. It also prevents unauthorized access by guests and trespassers. Even someone unauthorized to swim in the pool can potentially sue the property owner in the event of an accident, so it’s obviously in the management’s best interest to keep this fence in good condition and make sure it stays locked when the pool isn’t in use.

In addition to making sure the pool area is secure, assuring that the water is clean is also very important. When there isn’t enough chlorine in the pool, algae and other organisms can grow. Once your pool has an algae problem, it will have to be drained and refilled to make sure no one gets sick from exposure. It’s imperative that your filtration system works properly and is checked often, along with the chlorine levels. The pool should also be cleared of leaves, dirt and other debris on a daily basis. If pool maintenance is something you’re not familiar with, consider hiring a professional to make sure everything is as it should be.

On a monthly basis, Monthly tasks include, testing for water hardness (calcium content), pH, dissolved solids, and total alkalinity — and adding chemicals as needed, cleaning the pool filter, and checking the operation of the pump and motor. You can view a complete list of pool maintenance tasks here.

As far as local standards are concerned, it’s imperative that you familiarize yourself with your city’s ordinances. In Albuquerque, there is a checklist for pool certification. Certification is required by the city. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in hefty fines or shut-downs of your amenity. This will not make your current, or prospective tenants happy. Don’t skimp. It’s not worth it, dangerous, and could lead to loss of tenant retention or lawsuits.

While you are doing your part, make sure these following items are included in your lease pool addendum so your tenants are clear about their responsibilities as well:

  • Tenants use the pool at their own risk.
  • The landlord should be notified immediately if something needs to be fixed.
  • Users must comply with manufacturer instructions and recommendations when using the pool equipment.
  • The gate must be locked and the pool deck free of obstructions.
  • If you elect to allow tenants to perform routine maintenance, such as adding chlorine and removing debris, all such maintenance tasks should be specified.

Happy and healthy tenants mean happy (and wealthy) landlords. As we gear up for the summer months, take the necessary steps to make sure you are 100% compliant with local swimming pool laws.

Rhino Realty offers property management and commercial real estate sales in New Mexico, Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. For more information, please contact us at  505-856-0033 or visit us at www.RhinoRentalsNM.com

 

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Days To Fly the American Flag

 

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Spring is finally upon us and brings with it all the seasonal outdoor fun we look forward to, along with the promise of summer, every year. As we gear up for barbecues and fireworks, you may start planning on hanging up your flag for the season. But, knowing when and how to fly the flag can be confusing. Committing a flag faux pas can be embarrassing, so this week, we are going to take a look at the 2018 flag schedule.

First and foremost, you can fly the flag every day of the year – weather permitting. The United States Flag Code dictates that “The [American] flag should not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.”

All-weather flags can also fall victim to wear and tear, so always check your flag’s condition regardless of the material from which it’s made.  The condition of the flag flying in front of your property says a great deal about the care and attention you provide. Good maintenance practices assure your tenants and guests that you take pride in your community.

The United States Flag Code also states that “when a patriotic effect is desired, the [American] flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness.”  

So always use lights mounted away from the flagpole, configured in such a way as to spotlight the flag in darkness.

The above being said, if you do not fly the flag all year round, there are definitely days that the flag can (and should) be displayed. The below dates are for the 2018 calendar and will vary yearly. On these days, fly the flag at full- staff unless otherwise noted.

  • New Year’s Day: January 1
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: January 15
  • Inauguration Day: January 20
  • Lincoln’s Birthday: February 12
  • President’s Day/Washington’s Birthday: February 19
  • National Vietnam War Veterans Day: March 29
  • Easter Sunday: April 1
  • Veterans Day: May 8
  • Mother’s Day: May 13
  • Peace Officers’ Memorial Day: May 15 (half-staff)
  • Armed Forces Day: May 20
  • Memorial Day: May 28 (half-staff until noon)
  • D-Day: June 6
  • Flag Day / Army’s Birthday: June 14
  • Father’s Day: June 17
  • Independence Day: July 4
  • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day: July 27
  • Coast Guard Birthday: August 4

As the summer holidays approach, it may be tempting to go all out and decorate with American flag themes. It’s important to respect the community in which you live and be cautious about using the flag as decoration or clothing. The United States flag code outlines these guidelines in section § 8.

“Respect for Flag. No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, state flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.

(b) The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.

(c) The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping in front of the platform, and for a decoration in general.

(e) The flag should never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.

(f) The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.

(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

(h) The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

(i) The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

(k) The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Using the above guidelines is best practice when considering flying the American flag on your property. When in doubt about any of the guidelines for displaying your flag, you can visit the link to read the official United States Flag Code.

Also, keep in mind that your town may have local guidelines to honor or show respect for events in your area. You can always check your city’s website for guidance in that regard.

Rhino Realty offers property management and commercial real estate sales in New Mexico, Albuquerque, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho, and Bernalillo. For more information, please contact us at  505-856-0033 or visit us at http://www.RhinoRentalsNM.com