5 Ways To Make Your Swimming Pool Safer
- Matt Giovanisci
When it comes to swimming pools, it’s safety first – above all else. Owning a swimming pool is one of the best things you can do for yourself, but it can also be dangerous. Especially for young children.
My family owned an above ground swimming pool years ago. We didn’t have a fence around the pool. The deck was custom built with an easy to open gate. One Spring, while in the backyard for a family party, my 2 year old cousin went missing. She was found face down on top of the winter pool cover, drowning in inches of water. She managed to climb the stairs, open the gate, and fall into the pool with the winter cover still on.
She survived, but it might have been the scariest thing to ever happen to our family. We caught her just in time.
You can see why it’s extremely important to make your swimming pool a safe place, even when you’re not using the pool. This should be a year-round practice.
Here are 5 ways to make your pool safer for everyone.
1. Install A Safety Cover
Safety covers look like a giant green trampoline, but they a crucial when it comes to pool safety during the winter. If we had installed a safety cover on our swimming pool, we wouldn’t have had the same issue with my cousin. She would have just walked across the cover.
If you weren’t aware, they make safety covers for above ground swimming pools too. This is a wise investment to keep your pool safe during the off-season months. Check out these brands, including:
2. Install A Pool Safety Fence
Most towns across the country now require a fence to be installed when buying a new inground or above ground pool. However, there are many pools, including the one my family owned, that did not have a fence. It was not required at the time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one installed.
The CPSC (Consumer Product and Safety Commission) recommends you install a pool fence that’s at least 48″ inches high and has a self-closing, self-latching, child-resistance gate. The gate we use to have was a simple wooden gate with a standard latch. Also, the gate itself was no higher than 2 feet, making it very easy for my cousin to reach her hand over and unlock it.
Check out the following pool fence providers:
3. Install A Pool Alarm
There are 4 different types of pool alarms you can purchase: perimeter alarms, pressure sensitive alarms, gate alarms, and wearable alarms.
These alarms are also known as invisible fences. You set up different points around your pool to create a laser field. When a child or a small animal penetrates the field, the alarm will sound.
Remember, spare no expense when it comes to pool safety.
Take a look at the PoolEye Invisible Fence.
Pressure Sensitive Alarms
These alarms sits on the edge of the pool with a sensor tube that goes into the water. When someone or something falls into the pool, a pressure wave causes the alarm to sound. Most alarms of this style can detect 18 lbs or more entering the water and gives off a car alarm-like sound.
For more information, check out the an Immersion Alarm.
If you have a gate on your pool, then you should also have a gate alarm. Gate alarms are devices that attach to your gate and use a magnetic field. When the field is broken (by someone or something opening the gate) the alarm will sound.
Check out the PoolGuard Pool Door and Gate Alarm.
You can also use gate alarms on doors. Perhaps use it on the back door to your house or to protect young ones from venturing near the filter system and heater, which can also be a dangerous place.
Wearable Alarms For Children
This type of alarm only works with adult supervision. An alarm like the Safety Turtle Pool Alarm is worn by your child around his or her wrist. The alarm sounds when child’s wrist gets immersed in water.
This type of alarm is also great when swimming in a public pool, lake, or ocean.
4. Invest In Pool Safety Equipment
You would hope to never have to use any of these items, but it’s important to have them on deck in case anything occurs.
A Lifesaver With A Rope
You may see these from time to time on the beach or at public pools. They are round and make of a hard plastic or foam. If someone is drowning, toss them a lifesaver so they can grab and hold and you can pull them to the side of the pool and help them out. The rope is important so you can pull them to safety.
A Shepard’s Hook
It’s a metal loop that is shaped into a hook that you can attach to the end of your telescopic pole – the one you use for vacuuming and skimmer. If someone is drowning, you can extend the pole out and wrap the hook around them while pulling them to safety. These are very inexpensive and nice to have around in case of an emergency.
5. Increase Adult Supervision
The best alarm out there is adult eyes. Keeping a close eye on your loved ones while enjoying the swimming pool is your best bet. We all know this, but it’s very easy to lose track if you are not paying close attention.
When my cousin almost drowned, there were 6 adults all within range having a conversation and enjoying the spring weather.
When adult eyes fail, make sure you have a back-up plan. Install a pool fence, safety cover, and an alarm.