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Increased signage; public safety campaign to supplement new equipment and promote public safety 
 
Today, the Chicago Park District announced plans to install life preserver equipment at select waterfront locations as part of a pilot program to help mitigate risks of water related accidents and drownings. In addition to life preserver equipment, the District will also install increased signage along the lakefront and conduct outreach with community groups to raise public awareness and enforce beach safety. Equipment will be installed prior to the 2022 beach season.
 
The number of rings installed at each location will be determined by the size and configuration of the beach. Equipment will be inspected and maintained by the District.  Further, the Chicago Park District will assess effectiveness and feasibility and determine if a further course of action is needed. Safety devices will be used in conjunction with an alarm system that will trigger an alarm on a smartphone app used by lifeguards and security personnel.
 
“The Chicago Park District is committed to taking the necessary steps to protect residents and visitors. Chicago’s lakefront is among our city’s most treasured assets however it is imperative that it is enjoyed safely and responsibly,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly. “Although the life rings will offer an added layer of protection, we urge people to follow the rules that have been in place season after season.”  
 
Chicago Park District beaches are open for swimming the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11 am to 7 pm. Patrons should only enter the water when lifeguards are on duty and consult the flag notification system, located at each swimming beach for current water conditions.
 
Beginning in the Winter 2022 program session, all registrations will require patrons to acknowledge beach safety protocol. Regardless of the CPD program, whenever a participant registers online, or in-person for a program, the participant will be asked to review and acknowledge their receipt and viewing of a list of safe-to-swim locations and lakefront rules and regulations including hours of operation.
 
In addition to installing equipment, the District will increase signage at authorized and unauthorized swim locations and implement a robust public awareness campaign to educate patrons on beach safety. The District will also consider installing barriers at locations where swimming is not allowed to restrict access and promote public safety in those areas.