The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Ensure Your Pool is Safe for Summer Fun

 June 21, 2021 |  Home Maintenance, Safety |  summer, home exterior, pool, kids, pets

As you get your pool in shape for the season, take a moment to go over your safety checklist. While a fun way to take a break from the summertime heat, pools also can be dangerous areas for young children and pets. Here’s what you need to do to keep everyone safe and cool.

"I don’t have kids or pets, do I still need to take precautions?"
Even if you don’t have young kids or pets, you should still make a safe swimming environment for them. It’s been shown that curious children and animals can wander into a pool area and find themselves in drowning danger. In fact, some states may even require you to implement security systems to prevent this. Florida for example requires you to have an approved pool cover and surrounding barrier at least four feet tall. Even individual counties could have requirements to post signage around residential pools. In this case, it’s always best to check local, state, and also federal laws to see what you need to do.

Clean your pool of toys and floats.
Kids are easily enticed by fun objects like pool floats and other toys that they see in the water. This causes them to reach across the water to grab one and play with it, ultimately leading to them falling in. After you’re done hanging out in your pool, remove items like balls, noodles, and rafts. Either take them inside or store them in a lockable container to make it harder to access.

Invest in an alarm system.
Just like a smoke detector inside your house, a pool alarm warns you of imminent danger. These alarms can be placed on your gate or in the water to alert you when someone enters. You can choose either an above- or below-surface sensor that triggers when there’s a disturbance, such as someone falling in. Some models have a receiver that you can place in your house so you’ll be sure to hear it go off. If you already have a home security system, angle a camera towards your pool as a failsafe.

Comply with drain regulations.
Pool drains are notorious for being powerful enough to suck a child or even an adult under water. They’re one of the leading causes of drowning, but thankfully new drain covers have helped curb this issue. Still, older pools need to have their drain fittings upgraded and newer ones should be repaired if they’re broken or worn. Anti-entrapment covers are a small thing that make all the difference. (For more information on recommended standards for drain covers, check out resources from the CPSC and the PHTCC.)

Get the right cover.
If you don’t have a fence, a pool cover is the next best way to keep pets and people out. While covers are commonly square or rectangular, you can get them custom made to fit a variety of shapes. The general rule of thumb is that the cover should extend at least three inches past the edge of the pool. While there are covers that are more net-like, the best ones are either a mesh or solid vinyl material. Mesh covers allow for sunlight to pass through and prevent water or snow buildup, whereas solid “bounce” covers don’t let anything through. Both are good options, but heavier covers tend to work better in colder climates.

Keep up on your pool maintenance.
A clean pool is a safe pool. By simply keeping up on your maintenance schedule, you can reduce the chance of an emergency going unseen. Scoop out any surface debris that could obstruct your view of the bottom of the pool. Keep a proper chemical balance in your water as well to avoid getting that “murky” look. Cracked pavement, loose ladders, and broken steps should all be fixed to prevent tripping hazards and allow for a way out in case there’s a problem.

It doesn’t take much for a drowning incident to occur, but it takes even less to avoid one. Remember to take a few extra measures a day to secure your pool--it’ll always be worth it!.

Does your pool look less than summer ready? Have it inspected by a professional from NPI!

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