There are a lot of reasons you might be considering a swimming pool installation for your backyard. Owning a backyard pool provides the third most popular form of exercise in America, a great source of entertainment for people of all ages, and can increase your homes value by about 8%. However, swimming pools present a danger if you do not incorporate the proper safety precautions in you pool installation plans and throughout your pool ownership. If you plan to on constructing a swimming pool in the near future, please consider including these safety measures:
- Your best safety tool in and around a pool are your two eyes. Drowning occurs quickly and silently. Even if your children know how to swim, or are equipped with flotation devices, there is still the possibility for something to go wrong. Running inside to check on dinner could be all it takes for a tragedy to occur. No safety measure is completely fail proof, other than you watching at all times.
- Install fences. Talk to your pool builder about including a lockable fence in your pool installation plans so that children cannot slip in when no one is present. Your fence should be at least four feet tall with no gaps greater than 4 inches that a child or animal could get through under the bottom rail or between slats.
- Invest in a lockable pool cover. Having a lockable pool cover creates one more safety measure that prevents a child from getting in the pool when no one is looking. Additionally, a pool cover reduces evaporation and helps insulates it; pools with covers use 50%-70% less energy for heating.
- Make sure drain covers are in good shape. Some swimming pool injuries occur when the pool drains are not properly covered and a person gets and trapped by the suction. Keeping your drain covers in good shape helps prevent that. Also, remind children not to play around the pool drains.
- Keep safety equipment handy. Every pool should have an emergency flotation ring that is at least 17 inches in diameter available that can be thrown to a person experiencing a pool emergency. You should also have a safety hook to immediately pull a person to safety if necessary. One more good safety measure is to keep a phone by the pool area so that emergency personnel can be notified as soon an an emergency occurs.
- Stay on top of repairs. Having an unstable ladder or pool railings can lead to injuries when people put their weight on them to get out of a swimming pool. Other injuries could occur from unfixed damage to the decking or equipment in the pool area. Keeping your pool well maintained prevents such injuries.
- Keep your pool clean. Deep cleaning your pool takes as little as 20 minutes and ensures that the water is safe for being immersed in. The chlorine in your pool helps kill harmful bacteria, viruses and fungus that could make swimmers sick, but there is a limit to it’s cleaning strength if not maintained. Additionally, if your pool is contaminated by a sick person, follow recommended guidelines for proper sanitation.
Do you own a swimming pool? Do you have any safety advice that we didn’t mention? Please leave us a comment below.