If you have a backyard swimming pool, you know firsthand how much fun it can be for the entire family. Those seemingly endless summer days spent frolicking in the cool waters of your very own pool can create lasting memories that will last a lifetime.
But as with anything in life, you need to keep safety in mind at all times. This is especially true when dealing with pools that contain water deep enough to cause serious harm, particularly if you have small children in the home or in the neighborhood. The CDC reports over 3500 deaths from unintentional drowning from 2005-2014.
There are several safety features you can install that will help keep your pool as safe as possible at all times, items you may want to consider as a responsible pool owner.
Let’s take a look at a few…
Mounted Pool Alarms
These are devices that can be turned on whenever you or another responsible adult is not near the swimming pool. They come in many different varieties, including ones you can mount on the gate or fence, as well as others that can be placed around the pool itself. They use either infrared beams to detect movement or magnetic connections that set off an alarm when broken.
These are actually placed underwater and use a sonar grid to detect any possible breaches, at which time an alarm will sound. If someone enters the pool when the alarm is set, it will go off and alert any adults who are in the general area. And as they’re activated via sonar and not movement, there’s no chance that something like the wind will make it go off by accident. “These are a very popular request we get from new pool owners, especially those with kids” says Eddie Sanchez, a San Antonio Pool Builder.
Floating Motion Sensors. Unlike the alarm mentioned above, these types of devices rest on top of the water and can actually be activated by outside forces like strong winds. But they are inexpensive and are certainly effective in most cases, particularly on calm days.
Now these are definitely more expensive than some of the other options, but they are effective and will certainly let you know when there’s been a breach. They’re installed near the pool and sound an alarm when someone comes close to the water. They won’t normally go off if leaves fly by or even the occasional squirrel gets curious. But if a child or large animal triggers the alarm, you will know about it in pretty short order.
Most pools will have a permanent fence around them, in many cases this is even required by law. But if you don’t have a fence, or would like an extra layer of safety and security, you can consider installing a portable fence around the pool that can be put up and taken down fairly easily. This can keep children and animals out of the pool when there’s no one there to supervise them.
While it’s obviously a hassle to keep putting a pool cover on whenever you’re not around, it can be extremely effective from a safety standpoint. It will definitely keep young children from sliding into the pool accidentally, but it does require quite a bit more work anytime you want to use the pool.
These are exactly what they sound like, nets that go over your pool and can support the weight of a young child. It’s less of a hassle and much less expensive than a portable pool cover, but there is the possibility of a child or an animal getting tangled up in it. Still, if you or another adult is nearby, this shouldn’t be that big of a concern.