Backyard pools are rising in popularity as more people discover the joys that come from having a convenient place to enjoy a good swim. While swimming is fun, owning a pool also comes with the responsibility of making sure that everyone stays safe. Following these simple safety guidelines will ensure that everyone who visits your home is safe and comfortable around your new pool.
Install a Four-Sided Isolation Fence
Barrier systems prevent people and animals from accessing your pool without supervision. But you’ll want to make sure to install the right type of fence for your swimming pool. Instead of relying on a three-sided fence that surrounds your pool and yard, you’ll want to install fencing that is specifically meant to block access to the swimming area. A four-sided fence that separates the pool from the yard is 83% more effective at preventing accidental drownings than using a general fence around the whole property line.
Establish Basic Safety Rules
When you install a backyard pool, you’ll want to make sure that everyone in your household knows how to swim and do simple self-rescue techniques such as treading water. You also need to establish some ground rules for your family and visitors to follow. For instance, you’ll want to make sure everyone knows not to dive head-first into shallow water. You may also want to restrict people from swimming if they’ve had alcohol or taken medications that impact their ability to think clearly or move freely.
Designate a Water Watcher
Many pool-related accidents happen when there are many adults around the area with children. This is because it’s common for people to be distracted when they are having fun and engaging in conversation. When children are swimming, you’ll want to designate an adult to keep an eye on everyone in and around the water. To prevent one person from being overburdened by responsibility, have them switch off with someone else every 15 minutes. You can even use a special necklace or wristband to remind the person they are on watch duty while making it fun.
Use a Motion-Activated Pool Alarm
Even with a fence, there is still the chance that someone might fall into the pool or try to go swimming without supervision. Motion-activated pool alarms can alert you when there is movement in the water, which is also a great way to protect your pets and any wildlife in the area. Depending upon the system that you choose, the alarm can emit an audible alert or send a message to your smartphone. Either way, you’ll be able to act quickly in the event of an emergency.
With backyard pools, it’s best to place as many layers of protection on your property as possible. Not only are you protecting those you care about, but you are protecting yourself from liability. In the case of an accidental drowning in a private pool, the homeowner may be held liable if they did not take proper precautions to secure their pool area. Teaching everyone to swim makes having a pool more fun, and installing a fence and alarm system gives you peace of mind that you’ve done everything you can to prevent an accident. As with any backyard feature, make sure to practice proper pool maintenance, and you can look forward to many years of safe and enjoyable swimming.