Pool Safety for Arizonans: Tips & Equipment options
Residential swimming pools are source of joy and relaxation during the summer months for families, but tragically, the Red Cross estimates that 200 children die in swimming pool accidents annually. However, following a few safety tips and equipping your home swimming pool with proper safety equipment will keep your family – and your neighbors – safe.
- Before you decide to install a pool at your residence, be sure to check local ordinances and codes for safety requirements.
- Consult with professional pool contractors and electricians for proper pool construction. A pool contractor will be able to determine the proper depth of the pool if you want to install a slide; this will also determine whether you can jump or dive into the pool. Some accidents happen when the pool is too shallow and cause injuries if people dive when there is not enough depth. Electrical components of the pool should be wired by a professional electrician for safety as well as utilitarian reasons.
- When designing your pool, be sure to include non-slip surfaces around the water area, and guardrails for ladders or steps entering the pool. Consider the area around the pool as well during the design process. There have been recorded incidents where toddlers have crawled through open patio doors, fallen into the water, and drowned.
- Once the pool has been installed, establish rules with your family members. The most important thing to remember is that no one, not even the most adroit swimmer, should swim alone. Children, especially, should always be supervised. Additionally, be sure that all members of your family are able to swim. If children are young, establish that they must wear floats until they become better swimmers.
- As with public pools, discourage running by the water and pushing each other into the pool. Even with nonslip surfaces, slipping on water accumulated around the pool is still entirely possible. Electronic devices should also be kept away from the edge of the pool.
- Regular maintenance of the pool as well as pool water is crucial to a safe, healthy environment in and around the pool.
- Keep a first aid kit and rescue devices nearby. Make sure all members of your family are familiar with CPR and first aid.
Pool Safety Options
Depending on safety codes and regulations of your municipality, you may be required to construct a barrier around the pool or use a pool cover. Pool alarms are also available; censors notify you if someone has entered the pool.
1) Pool fences
Pool fences are come in various options, from four-sided isolation fences to aluminum fences to steel fences. Generally, pool safety code requires a 4-foot fence around an in-ground pool (again, be sure to check the codes in your municipality). Perimeter fences are designed to hinder access by children, and a built in such a way that make it difficult to crawl over or climb over the fence. Removable pool fences have proven a popular option aesthetically – but remember to re-install this fence every time the pool is not in use!
2) Swimming Pool Nets
Swimming pool nets are great options for pools that have untraditional shapes. The construction of the net makes it difficult for children to fall through, but make sure they are taut enough to sustain the weight in case someone does fall in. The net is more convenient in terms of removal, but are easier to access by older children.
3) Safety Pool Covers
Pool covers are an excellent choice as they provide protection from accidents as well the elements. Pool covers are required to hold a minimum of 485 pounds per square feet and are generally attached with steel springs and brackets. These pool covers are generally solid, though there are mesh options as well. The solid pool cover options help to keep water clean during adverse climate in the summer time and the emptied pool in good condition during the winter months.