Swimming pool owners, especially those with young children in the house, understand that swimming pool safety can never be out of mind. When you have a pool in the backyard, you don’t want it to be a scary place, but pool safety is noted as one of the main concerns pool owners have when they consider getting a pool.
There are steps you can – and should – take to assure your swimming pool is not a hazardous place. When you have your pool constructed, your swimming pool contractor is the best source of knowledge and information on what you can do to make your pool the “safest room in the house.” He will tell you that having layers of protection is the best strategy for ultimate pool safety.
What are layers of protection for your swimming pool?
- Door alarms
- Pool safety fences
- Pool safety nets
- Pool safety covers
- Pool fence alarms
- Floating pool alarms
- Swim lessons
- Constant pool supervision
- Motion-activated cameras
- Moisture-activated pool safety bracelets for the children
A pool barrier, and there are several styles, are one of the best ways to enhance pool safety and keep children and pets safe.
Choosing a pool barrier
There are many types of barriers and they include:
- Outdoor fireplaces and kitchens
- A decorative wall
- Pool house
- Thorny bushes
- Pool covers and
- Pool safety nets
Pool fencing, pool covers and pool safety nets are typically the most cost effective. In many areas of the country, too, pool fencing is required by municipal law to surround every swimming pool. Your pool contractor will assure you’re in compliance with local laws.
A pool safety fence
This is one of the most common safety devices you will see around a swimming pool. It will extend the entire length and circumference of the swimming pool. The fence needs to be constructed in such a way that a child cannot climb it. A chain link fence, for example, is not a proper safety fence. The fence needs to have gaps that are no wider than four inches, be unable to be climbed and should be at least four or five feet tall. There may be other requirements in the area in which you live for the pool fence.
A pool safety cover
A pool safety cover is considered by some to be an even more important safety barrier than a pool fence. A pool safety cover stretches tightly across the top of the swimming pool. It is then anchored into the pool deck and is unable to be removed by children. Some pool safety covers can support the weight of a 5,000 pound car, making it safe for supporting a small child or dog.
Keep in mind that a pool safety cover can take as long as fifteen minutes to remove and replace, but that amount of time shouldn’t be a deterrent to this piece of safety equipment.
You could have the pool safety cover be automated which would remove the time constraint.
Other benefits to a pool safety cover is that it keeps dirt and debris from getting into the water. It can also cut back on the amount of water lost to evaporation and that can save money on pool chemicals. If you heat the pool water, a pool safety cover will trap the heated water.
A pool safety net
A pool safety net is new safety device. With this safety device you stretch it tightly across the swimming pool and it forms a tight web over the pool. The cover has small openings that allow water in – this would alleviate the need to clear water from a pool cover if it rained. A pool safety net doesn’t do anything to prevent dirt or debris from getting into the water, but they are easier to remove and replace than safety covers. A pool safety net is also virtually “invisible” on your pool and lets the beauty of your pool shine through.
How do you decide which is best? Pool fence, pool cover or pool safety net?
Each pool safety feature has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to decide which advantages you want and which disadvantages you can live with. You will also need to choose the safety device, or devices, that adds to the safety and security of your swimming pool to protect your family.
Many pool owners opt for a multi-layered pool safety approach and that is a strategy many pool contractors recommend – if you have the budget for it.
Pool safety bottom line
It doesn’t matter how many layers of safety you have in place for your swimming pool if you aren’t diligent in using them. If you don’t close the pool fence or replace the pool safety cover, then any money you have spent is for naught.
Invest in self closing fences. Make certain there are alarms for your pool that are easy to turn on and off and that you remember to use.
There is no substitute for having a responsible adult supervising children in the household at all times. If necessary, add alarms to your house’s doors to sound an alert if a child opens the door without your knowledge.
We urge you to not skimp on pool safety measures. Your pool should be a place for fun, enjoyment and for building happy family memories that will last a lifetime.