We love our pools. They’re the perfect source of family time and offer a venue for those refreshing full body workouts! To wholly enjoy every aspect of a backyard pool, it’s essential for families to put just as much consideration and planning into safety as we do to aesthetics.
Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue once again. Today there’s a broad selection of alarms and other safety products that will give you peace of mind while reveling in your outdoor paradise.
1. Pool Alarms
This category encompasses the full complement of safety alarms that can be installed to alert you when a child has opened a door, or the gate to a pool area, or even if they’ve fallen or jumped into the pool. Children are naturally curious and may be inclined to try to get into the pool when you least expect it.
We recommend having your full-on plan done as part of the installation consultation with your contractor, so you are wired for safety from the first day your pool is up and running. (Be certain to have a full understanding of all local ordinances, so you’ll be in compliance there too.)
There are tons of pool alarm options from which to choose. You want to make sure you are selecting the one that’s THE most consistently effective. So consult with local pool experts, ask your neighbors what they use, query an organization like the Red Cross, and read those reviews!
These are some of the categories you’ll want to consider:
As the name implies, this one attaches to a door, a window, or a fence gate that leads to the pool. Besides the security they provide, they are not easily disarmed by children. Typically, the button is mounted at a “non-kid-friendly” height or requires a code to silence it. These alarms offer remote keypads, volume controls, low battery alerts, and are designed to, of course, withstand the elements.
These more permanent fixtures can be attached to a pool’s wall or decking or even a fence. These are designed to detect waves on the water’s surface. They are not so sensitive that rain or wind will set them off, but you will know if the surface has been breached. Some wall-mounted alarms can discern movements underwater as well. You will get an alert every time someone goes into the pool. When the whole family is assembled, and you have someone designated to watch out for the kids, you can turn it off. Turn it on when you’re done, or you can find a model that will reset after a predetermined time.
Underwater Motion Detectors
Some of these actually use sonar technology to identify and report back anything unusual beneath the water’s surface. These models are typically battery-powered and easy to install in order to police your pool 24/7.
To add to the summer menu along with the hotdogs and the sunscreen, you can buy wearable devices for children that offer another level of protection. These fun wristbands will send out an alert when they get wet.
This type of alarm will bob along the pool’s surface and won’t need to be affixed as a more permanent solution to your pool, decking, or fencing. Here too, you will receive an alarm if a child or a pet breaks the surface of the water. What’s nice about these sensors is that you can pick them up, dry them off, and take them with you on vacation or when visiting friends or family who may not have all the safety precautions you need in place.
2. Pool Fences and Pool Covers
Here too, you have a wide variety of options be they permanent or portable. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools:
- A fence completely surrounding the pool is better than one with the house serving as the fourth side.
- Fences should be a minimum of 4 feet high, although fences 5 feet or higher are preferable.
- If the home serves as one side of the barrier, install door alarms on all doors leading to the pool area.
- Make sure the doors have self-closing and self-latching devices or locks beyond the reach of children to prevent them from opening the door and gaining access to the pool.
The above referenced guide is an excellent source that outlines solid information for above ground and inground pools regarding barrier locations as well as standards for different kinds of fencing, gates, and alarms. It also features a host of safety tips.
Regarding pool covers, besides helping to keep your pool free of debris, The Spruce says, “Getting a cover for the pool will cut down on energy use and costs, evaporation, and save you time.”
These also serve as yet another barrier to keep children and pets safe.
Unfortunately, floating pool covers won’t offer that extra protection, because they give the false impression that the surface is a safe and solid one. Anyone could actually fall in and become trapped or hidden from immediate view.
A fixed, automatic pool cover is much sturdier and seals the pool along its edges making for a better, safer barrier.
3. Life Jackets and Swimming Lessons
Despite all the technology at our fingertips enabling us to communicate, manage our schedules, shop, and monitor our pool systems and safety, there’s still a place for some old school tactics.
Literally adding an extra layer of protection, today’s life jackets for kids are fun and functional. They are not so restrictive that kids can’t play, but this accessory will help support kids in the water while making them more easily visible.
As far as swimming lessons, whether from your local YMCA or even available from the American Red Cross, you can find the means to teach your children water safety while helping them learn an important skill.
We would also recommend checking out this important Home Pool and Hot Tub Safety information, also from the American Red Cross. It offers a wealth of detail including:
- Water Safety
- Drowning Prevention & Facts
- Activities for Kids, Parents & Caregivers
- Swimming Safely in Lakes, Rivers & Streams
- Swimming Safely at the Beach
- Swimming Safety Tips
- Life Jacket Safety
- How to Create a Safer Home Pool or Hot Tub
- Secure Your Pool When Not in Use
- Establish and Enforce Rules and Safe Behaviors
Safety first is the best defense. Once you’ve established the most effective solution, then schedule the installation and share the plan with your family, so it all combines for an integrated part of your lifestyle.
When you create a safe environment, there’s nothing else to do but enjoy the day!
Providing pool and home improvement loan solutions since 1979, Lyon Financial loves sharing safety information. We also love the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your ideal backyard oasis.