Child swimming under water (Photo: @darby via Twenty20)

9 Pool Safety Tips You Should Never Ignore

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Child swimming under water (Photo: @darby via Twenty20)
Having a swimming pool is a great perk for homeowners, but they do pose added dangers if you don’t take adequate precautions. These pool safety tips will greatly reduce the risk of accidents.

1. Put up a fence

Install a fence that is at least four feet tall around the pool. The gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The gates should also open outward with the latches positioned out of children’s reach. This helps to ensure that children cannot get in when unsupervised or run away when an adult’s head is turned.

2. Install an alarm system

A pool alarm system, when activated, detects when waves are triggered by a fallen person, pet, or object. This way, you know when there has been an intrusion or an accident has occurred. Separate alarms can be set on gates to prevent intrusions in the first place.

3. Keep rescue equipment nearby

You want a life ring, life hook, and first aid kit within easy distance from your pool. Life rings are flotation devices that can be thrown into the pool for a person to hold onto until rescued. Life hooks are long hooks that can be used to pull an incapacitated individual to the pool’s side. First aid kits are handy for all manner of bumps and cuts.

4. Lock up the pool chemicals

Children and pets have few qualms about putting unidentified substances into their mouths, and pool chemicals are highly toxic. Keep the chemicals to treat your pool locked up and out of reach to protect against accidental poisoning.

5. Inspect and replace drain covers regularly

Pool drains use suction to remove unwanted material from the water. When drain covers don’t fit properly or are broken, there’s a risk of body parts getting stuck. This could lead to a fatality by drowning, so inspect drain covers regularly and replace at the first signs of wear.

6. Clear the pool deck

To prevent trips and falls, keep the pool deck clear of obstacles like toys and furniture around the pool edges. Falls can always lead to injury, but there is the added danger of a fall knocking an individual unconscious and sliding into the water. Such an accident has high risk of drowning, so it’s worth the effort of keeping the deck clean and clear.

7. Set clear pool rules

Post clear pool rules for safety. Common rules include no running on deck, no glassware, a limit to the number of people, and that kids must be supervised. Be vigilant in enforcing your chosen rules, so people are less likely to break them.

8. Keep up-to-date on CPR and first aid skills

Even if you’ve learned CPR and first aid in the past, it helps to have an annual refresher. Memory is less reliable when you haven’t practiced a skill in a while, and there may also be amendments to protocols or new information to learn. This way, you can act competently and confidently in the event of an emergency.

9. Check your homeowner’s policy for pool-related coverage

Swimming pools are usually classified as part of the home or as a separate structure. Familiarize yourself with the insurance coverage associated with your swimming pool, and periodically review the policy’s limits to ensure you have ample protection in regard to your pool.