If you have a private pool in your backyard that is not fenced in yet, you might want to start looking into getting pool gates. Pool safety gates can keep your family safe, but they do also have certain requirements. For example, pool gates should stand around four-feet-high, and have self latching closures that are out of reach of children. While regulations like these are not law, they are well researched suggestions, making them very insightful and helpful.
Aside from the requirements of fences, knowing that pool gates could stop drownings is a great reason to get one. Approximately 3,533 fatal, non-intentional drownings happen in the U.S. each year. Worst of all, about 20% of those were children under the age of 15. Swimming pool gates are more than a suggestion, they are a necessity.
That being said, pool gates and fences aren’t the only things you need. Here are some other ways that you could make your pool safe for others to be around.
All entrances to the pool could have alarms installed. An underwater alarm is a great idea also. This type of alarm will go off when something breaks the water surface. Don’t set up this alarm to sound outside. Chances are, if you are already outside and it’s quiet, you will hear the splash; make sure that the alarm can be clearly heard from inside the house. Even better, set up two places for the alarms to sound: inside and outside.
- Pool Covers
Make sure there is a cover to the pool or hot tub to use when no one’s swimming. You can’t just use a tarp, as it could become a trap. If someone falls in accidentally to a pool covered in a tarp, they may end up getting tangled in the tarp, making it hard for you to see where they are. Use a hard cover that needs at least two people to lift. Install a latch or even a lock on the hard covers.
- Swimming lessonsEveryone living in your home should know how to swim. Most kids learn to swim around the age of five, but there are lessons available from infant age and up. Keep in mind, though, that just because your child knows how to swim does not make them immune to drowning.
- Drain Covers
This is one that not many people think about. Drains can catch hair and clothes, trapping the person they are attached to. Installing several drains will reduce the amount of suction coming from each one and drain covers are an even better plan. Try not to allow regular cotton clothing into the pool and never let the children sit on the side of the pool with regular clothes on.
- Safety Equipment
A safety ring, rope, net, and other emergency equipment should always be kept very close to the pool, should all of your safety methods fail and someone begin to drown. Having a landline phone attached to a wall or gate inside the pool area is a good idea, because it cuts down on the time needed if 911 has to be called.
- Watch Never let children play in or near a water source without supervision. Even during parties, there should always be someone watching the people in the pool. If this seems cumbersome when trying to host a party, find responsible adults who will be willing to take turns being the lifeguard throughout the night.
Keeping your pool a fun and safe environment should be your number one priority as a responsible pool owner. Follow these simple safety precautions and you should be just fine. All of the safety precautions lead to one simple outcome: no one drowns.