Following Memorial Day weekend, the swimming pool becomes the epicenter of summer activities. Whether soaking up the ray’s poolside or enjoying the refreshing water, a pool transforms your backyard into your own private oasis. In order to ensure the pool remains a paradise, it’s important to assess your pool’s safety. Taking a few precautions can drastically reduce the dangers associated with swimming pools as well as the risk of drowning.
- Install a fence: One of the simplest ways to make a pool less dangerous is by installing a fence. Many residential neighborhoods require pool owners to build a fence by law, which helps keep unwanted guests out of the pool. A proper fence should be at least four feet tall and owners should make sure that it does not have any openings, handholds or footholds than can be used to climb the barrier. Pool owners are liable for the safety of the people in their pool even when they are not home.
- Invest in a pool cover: Covering the pool at night as well as during the off season will decrease the risk of unwanted swimmers entering your pool. If the pool is not easily accessible, others may be discouraged from removing the cover prior to swimming. In addition to making the backyard a safer environment, a pool cover will also reduce the amount of debris that enters the pool, leaving it cleaner as a result.
- Install an alarm: Alarms can prevent emergencies before they happen. There are varying types of alarms on the market to keep your pool safe including pool alarms, which alert you when the water is disturbed, and gate alarms, which serve as a barrier around the pool and sound when the gate is opened.
- Purchase pool aids: Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children 14 and younger. Most swimming accidents occur because children lack the necessary swimming skills. By providing swimming aids like kickboards and noodles, the chance of accidental drowning with younger swimmers is greatly reduced.
- Provide adequate supervision: There is NO substitution for having proper supervision. The “buddy system” is not a surefire way to prevent accident. Even seasoned swimmers can bump their head, become entrapped, or have a medical emergency. Make sure children are within sight the entire time they are in the pool.
- Remove obstructions from vision: Make sure that your pool is in clear view of the house. Remove any objects that might deter vision like plants, canopies and fences. By making sure you have a proper view of the pool you will also know your pool is not in use when it is not supposed to be.
- Learn CPR: Check your local Red Cross for classes. If disaster strikes, you will want to be prepared.
- Keep rescue equipment on hand: Having ring buoys, reaching poles and life hooks are critical to help prevent drowning. Keep a first aid kit handy as well.
Pools are intended to provide their owners with a taste of luxury and relaxation, don’t let your pool become a danger zone. Protecting yourself and others against harm will make your pool a more rewarding and enjoyable place.