Folks, I wrote this last weekend and sadly there was a toddler drowning the next day so I can't think of anything more important than safety when children are near any body of water. Accidents can happen so quickly but as adults we hope to be aware and prevent what is possible. My heart goes out to any family who has to experience such a tragedy and hopefully some of these steps will prevent accidents from happening and make those more aware and prepared. I can't cover everything that can be done but hopefully this gives some helpful ideas and spurs you to have safety plans in mind for a fun and happy season with your swimming pool.
For many of us the economy has made us look twice at our spending habits and a new buzz word “StaCation” has become the summer vacation plan. Many have decided to defer selling their homes and invest albeit a smaller budget into home renovations and improvements including upgrading existing pools or making your backyard a place where you and your children can enjoy the summer months in a safe environment.
There are many upgrades to an existing pool that can be accomplished such as changing over from a chlorine pool to a salt pool, and adding a heater to make your swimming more comfortable or just upgrading your filter and vacuum systems to make your pool experience more hands free allowing you more time get things done. For this article, I am going to concentrate on SAFETY around the swimming pool.
Of course standard safety issues such as safety covers, perimeter fencing and pool alarms should be part of your existing pool. Make sure that fencing has no breaches. Your gate, door and pool alarms should be tested making sure they are functional. In addition, make sure your pool equipment such as main drain and low suction line covers are attached properly and not cracked these can prevent entrapment accidents along with an upgrade or addition of an (SVRS) or Safety Vacuum Release System which attaches to your pump system and shuts off the system should it detect something blocking the suction. Another addition or upgrade to consider should you have very young children is the CHILD SAFETY FENCE which is installed around the perimeter of pool. All these additions can be installed easily to an existing pool.
For older above ground pools please check your ladders out, these have been redesigned in recent years with anti entrapment issue in mind. Some codes have also changed in regards to having self closing gates surrounding your ladder systems. I've have also experienced many who are purchasing the smaller inflatable pools with a filter and pump using extension cords to connect filter systems etc. please don't do that, all codes apply to these pools as well as the standard size pools for electrical and barrier requirements.
If you have sliders going out to a deck which connects to the pool make sure you have a door alarm on the sliders this is also required and alerts you when the door is opened and potentially a child going out to the pool area, a common cause of drowning.
Some pool rules to keep everyone safe:
•Never take your eyes off a child when he or she is in or near any body of water
•Don’t solely rely of fences and barriers nothing can substitute for supervision it only takes a second for an accident to happen
•Keep toys and other playthings which may tempt your child to go near the pool away from the pool area when you are not there.
•Don’t consider your child to be “drown-proof” because you enrolled them in swimming classes. Supervise.
•Don’t rely on inflatable devices to keep your child afloat. These are not substitutes for supervision.
•Always drain standing (surface) water from the pool cover. Even a few inches of water can be hazardous. An empty pool is not necessarily a safe pool.
•Install a phone, or keep a cordless phone in the pool area for emergencies. If you answer your phone for personal issues keep your eyes on your kids don’t get distracted.
•Post your emergency numbers on the phone or an area where you can locate if necessary.
•Take a CPR and Water Safety Course don’t let yourself feel helpless, empower yourself and be prepared.
•At the beginning of the season you and your family should go over pool rules such as no running, diving etc. this lays out a plan so you keep your sanity and you will all enjoy a safe swimming season.
This writing was not meant to scare you to the point of not enjoying what is a great recreational use for your backyard but to get you thinking that like anything else i.e. swingsets, bikes, etc. there are safety nets out there to make your use time pleasurable and safe. Now is not the time to cut back on items needing repair or attention especially when it comes to your families safety.
For information and cost on any of the items mentioned above please contact us at Prospect Pools LLC 203-758-0524 or visit www.prospectpoolsllc.com