A Safe Pool Is a Fun Pool: 3 Tips to Get Ready for Swim Season
For homeowners with a swimming pool, the annual pool opening party marks the beginning of summer. With all the excitement of sunbathing and swimming, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your pool is safe for everyone to enjoy. We’ve put together a short list of three safety-tips every pool owner should follow.
Secure Pool Access
Many states mandate physical barriers are installed to prevent children from inadvertently falling into a pool. Even if not required by law, it is good practice to install a fence that is at least 4 feet high without any gaps or holes for little ones to slip through. Be sure to keep any objects away from the barrier to prevent someone from climbing up and over.
Pool covers are another way to prevent someone from falling in. Covers are most practical for smaller pools, above ground pools, and spas. Optionally, alarm systems can be installed to alert homeowners of someone entering your pool. The disadvantage to alarm systems is someone can still enter the water and if you are not at home, there is not much one can do.
More than a decade ago, the Virginia Graeme Baker Act was passed. This act requires all public pools have anti-entrapment (vortex) drain covers. Such covers prevent underwater suction from trapping swimmers under water. Although the Act does not apply to privately owned pools, it is recommended you too have anti-entrapment drain covers installed.
In addition to VGB-compliant drain covers, check drains, inlets, and outlets to make sure small hands or fingers cannot get stuck. Children are curious and can inadvertently get small fingers stuck, trapping them beneath the surface.
Properly Use and Store Pool Chemicals
Chlorine kills bacteria and parasites in the water. The chemical is harmless to humans when diluted in the pool but can be extremely dangerous when handled by itself. Keep all pool chemicals secured safely away from anyone who may venture near your pool area. Ideally, keep them in a location that can be locked up. Following these three tips will point you in the right direction for a safe and fun swimming season. Talk with your local pool supply or maintenance professional for even more safety tips.