Like any authority on swimming pools should, the Florida Swimming Pool Association offers a solid list of pool rules with which all pool owners must comply.
Their number one tip: “Have a designated pool watcher to keep an eye on swimmers at all times. This should be a responsible adult who will not become distracted. If going inside for any reason, a new watcher should be assigned, or everyone should get out of the pool.”
This rule reflects the lifeguard concept. Choosing one person and then changing shifts if necessary is smart. Like a designated driver who abstains from alcohol, someone should always be accountable when poolside.
FSPA also offers up these additional key tips. While common sense, they always bear repeating:
- Never swim alone, this means adults too!
- Do not use glass containers around the pool.
- Go inside at the first sign of thunderstorms.
- No running or rough play in or near the pool.
- No diving in shallow water and always steer your dive up.
- Never stand or play on a pool cover.
- Do not play with drains of any kind.
As pool financing professionals, we’d like to add some of our own.
OUR TOP TEN TIPS FOR POOL SAFETY:
- Respect the water. Whether you’re in an ocean or a backyard pool, you and your family are submerged in a substance that is not your natural habitat. Just because “Joe swims like a fish” doesn’t mean he should not be taught how quickly circumstances can change. A sudden, cresting wave or an inadvertent bump into the pool wall is a danger. There’s no need to fear the water necessarily, but it is an entity greater than you. It should be held in such regard.
- Learn how to swim. Confidence is powerful. When you learn and develop the strength and wherewithal to swim your way out of danger, you are exerting dominion over the water. Besides the health benefits of swimming, you will teach your children some self-assurance. Local YMCAs are a good place to register for swimming lessons. They have licensed instructors and offer membership fees based on income, so it can be affordable for your entire family.
- Secure all electrical. It is worth every penny to have a licensed and insured electrician ensure that everything to do with your pool is properly grounded and bonded. Add this step to your periodic preventative maintenance list so you have peace of mind. Electricity and water do not mix. You also want to catch issues before they turn into more expensive repairs.
- Gates and fencing. Besides complying with your state and/or county regulations regarding pool security, look into investing in self-closing gates. Your backyard pool is a wonderful centerpiece for parties. Sometimes people may get distracted going in and out of the house to serve guests. In addition to the designated pool watcher, a self-closing gate will help keep little ones out until you are ready to take them poolside.
- Alarm systems. We have them on our homes and cars. Take advantage of this technology for your pool as well. Besides door and window and pool gate alarms, you can also set up a monitor in your kitchen. Pool eye alarms can easily be mounted on the perimeter of the pool to sound an alert when the beam is crossed. Talk to your pool professional about the best pool alarm configuration based on who could have access to the pool, as well as the pool’s type and shape.
- Chemical storage. The chemicals to keep pools clean are poisonous and at the very least caustic. In addition to using them appropriately and in the proper intervals, these must be stowed and secured so children and pets have absolutely no access. If you don’t have a separate, locked shed but store your pool chemicals in the garage, make certain the chemicals are safely locked in a container.
- Learn CPR. This is a certification that is well worth your time, especially when seconds mean everything. The American Red Cross offers CPR training. There is typically at 2-hour online segment complemented by an in-class session of about an hour. At the cost of about $100, you will be armed with a powerful tool that can come in handy at anytime and anywhere.
- Ditch the diving board. We like this idea from the Home & Garden section of the Washington Post. They suggest removing diving boards as well as slides as they are accidents waiting to happen. Even semi-experienced divers can take an unexpected fall with dire consequences.
- Cover drains. Compliant drain covers protect swimmers from entrapment. Their powerful suction can be harmful or even cause deadly consequence if improperly covered. Make certain this item is on your preseason checklist before anyone takes the first plunge of the season.
- Doubt devices. Just because your child is using a flotation device does not mean he or she is safe. If anything, those provide a false sense of security as a child may venture toward the deeper end because they feel supported. There is no substitute for vigilance when it comes to the water.
While these all sound like negatives, they are actually positives and simply the “rules of the road” for pool owners. Like anything else, when you know everything is in working order and you feel knowledgeable, you can control a situation to the best of your ability.
Installing a pool in your backyard is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family. It will become the center of future celebrations and one of the best investments you will ever make. (Not to mention what a pool does for a staycation!)
At Lyon Financial, we are pool financing experts who consider every aspect of pool ownership. 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, and be safe!