Simple Steps to a Safer Pool
As residential pool owners, we have the responsibility of patrolling our pools and making sure we abide by the highest safety standards for everyone that uses the pool. This means both utilizing the safest pool equipment and ensuring we are prepared to handle any incident that might occur. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 3,443 unintentional drownings in the United States in 2007 alone. The majority of these fatalities happen in residential pools and spas. Fortunately, there are plenty of precautions you can take to help prevent problems like these from occurring.
Here are some basic guidelines to maintaining the safest pool in town:
Having and Maintaining Appropriate Pool Equipment
• Maintain your pool cover to ensure it is in excellent working order. This simple measure can prevent critical accidents and can protect your pool from the natural elements.
• Put up a fence in between your house and the pool. Children's drowning often occurs from them wandering out of the house and falling into the pool.
• Put self-closing and self-locking gates on the entrance to the pool that are higher than a child can reach to ensure they won't be able to open the gate on their own.
• Install pool and gate alarms to alert adults when children have come too close to the pool water.
• Check to make sure your anti-entrapment drain covers are in full working order.
• Install a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) that will automatically shut off the pump if there is a blockage detected. An alarm will sound and not stop until attention is taken.
Practicing Water Safety
• Make sure you and your child know how to swim before entering the pool. If the child does not know how to or is not well-experienced, it is imperative that they wear a life jacket while in or around the pool. "Floaties" are not a substitute for a life jacket.
• At all times, there should be an adult present at the pool that keeps a very watchful eye on every child in or around the pool.
• It is important that at least one adult at the pool knows how to perform CPR on both children and adults.
• Attempt to keep children away from pool drains and pipes to avoid any type of entrapment that may occur.
• Have a pool safety kit nearby that includes a first aid kit, a pair of scissors to cut someone free if necessary, a charged portable phone to call 911 in the case of an emergency, and a flotation device in case you need to aid someone who is drowning.
• When finished using the pool for the day, remove all pool tools from the pool area to reduce the temptation for children to want to play in or around the area without supervision.
At the end of the day, being overly cautious when it comes to pool safety is not a bad thing. Drowning is completely preventable and if the proper steps are taken, it should almost never occur. By owning a residential pool you have a responsibility to protect everyone that uses the pool to the best of your ability. Take this responsibility seriously and get your pool equipment and your safety skills up to par!