Grieving parents of drowned B.C. toddler push for more pool safety checks
ALia, Daisy and Andy Chryssolor would like to see annual inspections of backyard pools, particularly their fences and gate latches, in the wake of the drowning death of their 18-month-old son, Brady The parents of a toddler who drowned in a backyard pool in Deep Cove in North Vancouver say they want to see more inspections of private pools and ... (more)
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#1 May 25, 2012
It is both a sad and interesting case and foremost my condolences to the couple in the loss of their child.
I do not see the city providing services to check on other critical inspections of rental properties such as is the furnace safe, are cab overs remaining free of exhaust,etc.
Typically, as this couple did - there is a problem the renters contact the owners and they become partners at that point to ensure safety is ensured. The renters started the process and the owners picked up from there. For whatever reason the partnership broke down. The owners fixed a portion of the problem and the renters did nothing to remind them that an unsafe situation remained because only part of the job was done.
This was an accident and I have great respect for the owner who has acknowledged that. It does not sound as if the brothers would have "intentionally" left a situation unsafe where a child was involved anymore than the parents would.
Still I do see the breakdown in communication as the issue and I do think it is a landlord/tenant issue. The city should not get involved in babysitting adults.
They could act as brokers for the parties in situations where no agreement can be reached about what needs to be done and/or where certain standards are not being adhered to. The more active role of monitoring all of the things, compiling lists of what could be dangerous is just expensive and costs the average citizen as well as the city a great deal of money.Expanding the cities role is unreasonable.
#2 May 25, 2012
Very tragic. The owners of the property are required to abide by the bylaws. By not ensuring that the gate had a latch in accordance with the bylaws, the owners were negligent. They owed a duty of care to their tenants to ensure the property was safe, in particular because they must have known that the tenants had young children and that there was a pool full of water. Remember too the maxim, Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
There are those who will ask "why wasn't the child being watched"? Notwithstanding this, had the gate have been properly latched this child would almost certainly not have drowned. As most realise, it is impossible to watch a child every second, there will be times when attention is diverted, especially if there are two other young children.
Governments cannot supervise everything in a community. Property owners must ensure that they comply with all laws and bylaws. In most cases it's just common sense. This is an example of a case where procrastination and cutting corners can result in tragedy. This is a matter for the civil courts.
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