By Samuetta Hill Drew
Staying cool during sizzling southern days and swimming go hand and hand. It is not uncommon for Southerners to jump into a pool for some hot fun in the summertime. After all, pools offer great family fun for all ages.
Last week’s article quoted different statistics about swimming pool injuries and deaths while offering safety tips to help prevent these types of unfortunate occurrences, especially for younger children. This week let’s further review safety measures which can be used and installed by a professional pool contractor to help keep your family and love ones safe while enjoying this great summer pastime – swimming.
The best place to begin with pool safety is getting acquainted with the local ordinances and codes relative to safety requirements. One of the main safety requirements involves fencing height around the pool since there are no national standards. Remember there is no one safeguard that will childproof your pool or prevent accidents. This is why adult supervision, creating pool safety rules and using various safety pool measures are the most preferred method.
The National Safety Council (NSC) states the best safety measure for homeowners is a fence around the entire pool. A fence is the first line of defense because it acts as a barricade. Fencing height requirements vary by state. Some states require the fence to be a minimum of four feet high around the entire pool while some states require six feet.
Check with your homeowner’s insurance as well for fencing requirements. Do not use a side of your home as a substitute for one portion of the fence. Also, it’s very important that children should not be able to climb over, under or through the pool wall or fence. Do not place pool furniture like chairs or benches close to the fence where children can climb and jump over the fencing.
Always secure your gate with a lock, but remember it’s not a safety measure if the gate is not closed. The best gates are self-closing and self-latching. Install an audible alarm which will sound when the gate is opened. An additional safeguard to detect activity in the pool is a pool alarm.
For those swift adventurous toddlers there are also wearable alarms. When installing diving boards and slides, make sure the depth of the water is appropriate. Therefore, using an official pool contractor is essential. Make sure all water depths are conspicuously marked.
Always inspect your drain covers. They can create underwater suction strong enough to trap even an experienced swimmer. Make sure you have the proper rescue equipment. The pool deck should be made from non-slip materials. Inspect your pool daily for any slip hazards such as toys and other objects people could trip over.
Make sure you use the pool chemicals properly like chlorine to kill waterborne bacteria and parasites. Maintain your pool. Store your chemicals and other items like floats, tubes, chemical equipment away from the water when they are not in use. To also help Keep an Eye on Safety you may want to consider reviewing the guidelines set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.