A residential swimming pool can be a place of bonding and happiness where families spend
many happy hours together. It can also become a place of great sadness. Statistics show that a shocking 350 kids under the age of 5 die of drowning in a home swimming pool every year. In states such as Arizona, Florida, and California it is the biggest cause of accidental death in the Country. That inevitably raises the question of what a homeowner can (and should) do to ensure pool safety for children and adults alike this summer. This is both a moral and legal obligation.
Legally it is expected that every homeowner should fit their backyard swimming pool with the necessary safety equipment. Below are a few important tips to improve pool safety.
Make sure your pool is fenced in. You can start by installing a fence that’s no less than 1.2m or 4ft tall to control access to the pool. Make sure that you can still see into the pool area though, and keep the fence a maximum of 4 inches from the ground. Also, don’t make the fence easy for kids to climb.
Gates. Install a gate that latches automatically. Make sure it opens away from the pool and that the latches can not be reached by specifically younger children.
Safety cover. A strong safety cover fitted with a motor is an extremely good way to prevent access to the pool when you are not using it. Just don’t let this become a safety threat on its own by ensuring that water can’t collect on top of the cover.
Alarm. Alarms can go a long way to help ensure pool safety. By installing an alarm on the door closest to the pool section, you will know when someone might be on the way to the pool. Other good ideas include a below-water alarm and a floating pool alarm.
Drains can be dangerous. Never allow kids to sit on or even play near pool drains. It’s easy for hair or a finger or toe to become stuck because of the strong suction. A good idea is to use specially designed drain covers.
Emergency equipment. Make sure that you always have emergency equipment such as a reaching pole, rope or shepherd’s crook near the pool in case someone should get into trouble.
Life vests. Inexperienced swimmers and young kids should never be allowed to swim in a pool without a life jacket. If it’s your pool, you have the right to make the rules. There a quite a lot of other products on the market that might or might not help keep someone like that afloat, such as pool noodles. These should, however, never be seen as substitutes for life vests. You should also never forget that even the best floatation device or lifejacket can ever take the place of observing water safety guidelines.
Proper supervision. Never allow children, particularly younger children, to swim while not under the supervision of an adult. As a general rule, children of 4 or younger should not be allowed to go further than arm’s length from an adult while in the pool area. Make sure your children know how to swim. There is no excuse for not teaching or letting your children be taught how to swim. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that the majority of kids of 4 and older can learn to swim. Please be aware, however, that even children (and adults) who can swim sometimes drown.
Use alcohol responsibly. If you are swimming, on a boat, or you have to supervise kids who are swimming, this means only one thing: do not consume alcohol.
Store water treatment products where kids can’t reach them. Most people use chemical products to improve chemical hygiene in their pools. It’s important to store these in a well-ventilated, dry place where children are not able to reach them. You don’t want a toddler to consume a mouthful or two of potentially dangerous chemicals. These safety tips apply not only to pools, but all types of swimming environments. These tips will help to lower the risk of drowning in all bodies of water. Make sure you know CPR. This is particularly important if you have young children or if you have someone in the household who is not a good swimmer. You never know when such skill may be useful to save a life. At Diamond Property Inspections, we truly care about the health & safety of our clients. Give us a call to schedule your Home Inspection whether you are buying, selling, or planning to list your home.