A pool is an amazing addition to any home. If you can afford the expense and you have the yard space to accommodate one, it’s a must-have luxury that will provide your family and friends with hours of good times every day, year after year.
However, there is an unfortunate darker side to residential swimming pools.
When pool owners don’t practice some basic safety measures, people can lose their lives.
Today, we want to help you avoid such tragedies. If you’re looking to buy a pool, or you already have one, here are 8 pool safety tips you MUST follow to keep your family and guests safe.
1: Adult Supervision is Required
First, if you have children or children are going to be invited over to swim, there always needs to be an adult present. The majority of childhood drownings in the U.S. stem from unsupervised children in residential swimming pools, and it’s a heartbreaking tragedy.
Even if your child knows how to swim, adults capable of stepping in should be supervising them at all times. Something can go wrong at any moment, and if no one is around, it might turn tragic quickly.
Adults should be informed about child pool safety and about ways to ensure maximum pool safety for the young ones.
2: Keep Alcohol and Adult Consumables Away from the Pool Area
A lot of adults like to sit by the pool and enjoy a drink on their day off, but unfortunately, using adult substances and being around the pool can very easily lead to accidents. Especially in cases of overconsumption when no one else is around.
It’s a lot safer to enjoy your pool with your mental faculties intact, and you can always enjoy that adult beverage after you’re done swimming and back in the house. This also goes for cannabis, where it’s legal, and any other substance that hinders your ability to think properly or move.
3: Don’t Swim Alone
While you’re a grown adult and likely a far better swimmer than your child, it is still a good idea for you to have “supervision” too. Anything can happen. You can slip and hurt yourself, accidentally inhale a bunch of water or anything else, and if no one is around to observe what’s happening, tragedy can strike.
It’s always smart to have at least one other person around the pool area with you.
4: Keep the Pool Area Clean and Free of Debris or Standing Water
The area around your pool is going to get wet. As kids run in and out, your guests hop out to go to the bathroom or get some food, and everything else, water will end up on the walking surfaces around your pool.
This can cause slip hazards, and depending on the surface material, it can be quite dangerous. Especially on tile or slick concrete where any fall can potentially break a bone or dump you into the pool unexpectedly.
Use a dry towel or dry mop to remove water from all walk areas around the pool.
However, water isn’t your only concern. Pool floaties, toys, seating arrangements, and other things cluttering the walk area can also be problematic. Make sure to keep the pool area picked up and tidy to avoid accidents.
5: Have Proper Safety Equipment Beside the Pool At All Times
You should not own a pool if you do not buy the right safety equipment for it. A life preserver, safety jackets for children, and preferably an anti-drowning care sheet posted nearby are all necessary safety items.
You don’t want something bad to happen and then find out you don’t know how to help someone who’s drowning or realize you’re not equipped to get them out quickly.
6: Require Swimming Skills or Swimming Support for All Swimmers
Before someone enters your pool without a life jacket or suitable flotation device, you should know whether or not they can swim. If they can’t, require them to wear a proper safety device until they learn how.
This is key for preventing swimming-related deaths, and considering you’re responsible for the safety level of your pool, you can even prevent legal issues by having these requirements.
7: Non-Slip Surface Pads
If you have slick surfaces around your pool, such as tile or concrete, consider buying non-slip surface pads to lay down in key areas. Even if it’s not as seamless as leaving the luxurious walking surface exposed, it is a lot safer, and the likelihood of slips will drop considerably.
8: No Plugged in Electronics Near the Pool
This should come as common sense, but you should not have any electronics that plug into a wall around the pool.
If a smartphone or Bluetooth speaker falls in, the most that will happen is that electronics will be destroyed. If a plugged-in radio, minifridge, or the electronic weed eater you’re using to clean up the pool-side greenery ends up in the pool, it can be catastrophic.
The Most Important Safety Tip: Get a Pool Fence
Finally, we’ll round this list of pool safety tips with one tip so important we’re not even including it with all the other stuff.
Get a pool fence.
A pool fence will do a few things.
First, it will help contain the pool area and give it a bit of aesthetic appeal. It makes the whole area look professionally built and luxurious.
That’s not one of the more important reasons, though. It makes all the life-saving tips we gave a lot easier to follow.
A pool fence plays a vital role in preventing child drownings and unwanted guests from sneaking into your pool and drowning.
Not only does that prevent tragedies, but it also prevents legal liability since you’re responsible for incidents that occur in your pool if you don’t have anything to keep people out of it. In fact, it is a legal requirement in many municipalities to have your pool area fenced in with an appropriate pool fence.
The pool fence also keeps wildlife and stray pets out, prevents theft, and generally gives you more control over how your pool is used.