9 Pool Safety Tips
Concern about the safety of swimming pools is one of the primary reasons many homeowners hesitate to install a pool. Fear of injury can also keep homeowners who have a pool from letting their family use it regularly. However, there’s no reason that fears for safety should prevent you and your family from enjoying the pool of your dreams. There are several simple steps that you can take to ensure the safety of those who use your pool.
Keep Deck Cleaned
Pool decking safety isn’t a concern that comes immediately to most people’s minds when they think about pool safety. However, it’s important to keep the decking area around your pool free of algae, old leaves, and other debris that commonly accumulates around outdoor pools (even those that are covered). The combination of dirt/debris, water, and little bare running feet on hard concrete is a recipe for disaster. You should wash your decking area frequently with a water hose on a high setting, or consider having it power washed regularly. Pool deck cleaning by acid washing should also be part of regular pool maintenance performed by a professional pool maintenance company.
Install a Pool Gate
This is a better known pool safety solution, yet one that isn’t implemented often enough. If you have pets or young children at home, this is something you should definitely consider. A pool gate encloses the entire pool area, ensuring that children and pets cannot access the pool when you’re not around. Installing a pool gate also has the added benefit of increasing the resale value of your home. A pool gate will ease the minds of future potential buyers who have young children and may be concerned about the safety of a swimming pool.
Purchase a Pool Cover
If installing an entire pool gate isn’t an option for you, whether because of the size or layout of your yard or due to your budget, then a heavy-duty pool cover may be the way to go. Pool covers are a simple solution to fears about pool safety. They cover the entire pool with a strong, tight canvas that anyone can walk easily across. In fact, there are some covers that claim that an elephant can walk across them safely! A pool net is also another option, if less durability is needed.
Invest in a Pool Motion Detector
With pool safety becoming a major concern, many companies are developing new products to solve this problem for families who own private pools. For example, there are buoy motion detectors that float in your pool and detect any water movement. So if a child or pet were to fall in the pool, the safety buoy would detect the wave movement and sound an alarm to notify you. There are also motion detectors that connect to the side of your pool and detect movement around its outside rim. These types of alarms connect to in-home receivers so they’re audible inside the home. If you’re concerned about pool safety, look into products such as this to alleviate your fears.
Install Pool Lighting
Leisurely evening or nighttime swimming is one of the perks of owning your own private swimming pool. If your family enjoys swimming at dusk or night, then you should definitely consider installing pool lighting for safety purposes. Pools should be well lit both on the outside in the decking area, and within the pool itself. This allows supervising adults to easily see what’s happening in and around the pool and to step in quickly if help is needed. Plus, pool lighting brings a cool, fun atmosphere to your pool! We recommend IntelliBrite® 5g Color-Changing Underwater LED Lights These lights feature LED technology, which is top of the line in energy efficiency, lifetime value, quality of light, and color changing ability. With custom reflectors and unique lens designs, the IntelliBrite 5g is the most efficient underwater LED light available. Underwater lights such as this, in addition to external pool lighting, will greatly enhance the safety of your swimming pool.
Clean Pool Tiles
As well as the exterior of your pool, the interior pool tiles should also be cleaned regularly to ensure pool safety. If the tiles along the sides and bottom of your swimming pool become covered in scum composed of algae or other debris, they become very slick. This makes it hard for feet or hands to grip the tiles as they try to walk along the bottom of the pool or climb up the sides to get out. Either you or a pool maintenance crew should clean the pool tiles regularly to keep slippery scum from accumulating.
Maintain Pool’s Chemical Balance
If the chemicals in your swimming pool get out of balance, the water can become hazardous to those swimming in it. Test the chemical balance in your pool water weekly, and add chemicals as needed. Use manufacturers’ directions for maintaining a proper chemical balance. You should also consider getting a regular shock treatment, which cleans the pool water of algae, bacteria, dirt, and any other organic matter. Remember, don’t mix chemicals together before putting them in the pool; only add one chemical at a time. Also, you should never add chemicals to the skimmer (except DE). If maintaining a proper chemical balance intimidates or confuses you, just leave it up to a pool maintenance company to perform regular chemical maintenance to keep your pool clean and safe.
Whenever you visit a public pool, you probably notice the signs listing many rules to follow. The rules are designed to ensure the cleanliness and safety of those swimming in the pool or playing in the pool area. While some of these rules may seem over the top for a private pool, it’s a good idea to establish at least a few safety rules of your own and enforce them consistently. Rules such as “no running on the pool deck,” “no diving in water shallower than 6 feet,” and “no swimming without an adult present” are great guidelines for any household. You can post a stylish, custom sign in your pool area to make sure children remember the rules and that guests are made aware of them. This makes the rules seem more “official” and memorable. Whatever pool safety rules you decide for your family, just make sure to hold your entire family to them consistently so that everyone knows the safety guidelines.
Consider Swimming Lessons
If you have young children at home, it’s wise to make sure they know how to swim. While it’s prudent to take steps to close off or cover your pool, it’s still best to teach your children how to swim just in case. You can teach your child to swim yourself (look for youtube videos that show you how), or check with your local recreation center or public pool to ask about swim lessons. Most programs offer swimming lessons for children as young as six months old. These basic classes teach infants and toddlers how to tread water or float on their backs, so that if they were ever to fall in a pool or another body of water, they could stay on the surface until help arrives. Swimming lessons are a great investment in your children’s safety, plus they’re fun for the whole family to participate in!