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Pool Safety 101

A day at the pool should be fun and relaxing, however it can quickly turn in to tragedy. Drowning is the leading cause of preventable deaths in children ages 1-4. Having a pool is a major responsibility and it is every pool owner's obligation to ensure that their pool is safe for themselves and others. Recently, there have been some high-profile cases of children drowning in pools – and it is a reminder of the importance of pool safety. That's why the experts at vipHomeLink have put together these tips:  

Pool Safety Equipment 

Build a Barrier

Although having a barrier around you pool is yet to be a national law, many municipalities have some pool requirements that must be followed including having a barrier around your pool. Fencing, ideally, should:

  • enclose the pool completely without using your house as a side
  • be at least 4' tall (although many experts recommend 5')
  • located away from any permanent structures that can be used to climb over the fence
  • have a max ground clearing of 4"
  • be equipped with a self-latching, lockable gate

Use Pool Nets and Pool Covers

Pool nets are designed to be used during the summer months when the pool is not in use. They are able to prevent a person or pet from accidentally falling into the pool. The safety of the pool net comes in the size of the opening in the nets. The holes are too small for a child's head to fit through, but too large for someone to walk on. Pool nets stretch taught over any pool and use a sophisticated pulley system. They need to be installed by professionals but can easily be operated by one person.

Pool covers are made to be used during the winter months or anytime the pool is closed for an extended period of time. They come in two different styles hard covers and mesh. Both protect your pool and are strong enough for someone to walk across, however hard pool covers are not recommended in areas which get a lot of rain or snowfall. It is important to note that solar covers and winter covers are NOT safety covers 

Pool Warning Devices 

As an added step of protection consider installing an alarm in and/or around your pool.

Threshold Alarms: These alarms can be installed anywhere someone can gain access to your pool, for example doors, gates, and even windows. They are meant to alert you if someone has entered the pool area.

Surface Wave Sensors: These senses are made to alert you if there is a disturbance in your pool due to water displacement. These sensors work for both inground and above ground pools.

Subsurface Sensors: These alarms are meant to be permanently attached to your pool. They can measure disturbance in the water and are prone to less false alarms than a surface wave sensor.

Wearable Alarms: Many wearable alarms are geared towards children, but anyone can use them. They are either worn on the wrist, head, or neck. Sensors go off depending if the alarm gets wet or stays submerged for too long. 

Pool Safety Systems 

Anti-Entrapment Drain:  While many of us understand the importance of fences and covers to keep our pools safe, you might have overlooked the drain. As of 2007 all public pools must have anti-entrapment drain covers. This practice should be brought to your home pool as well. Drain safety covers mitigate the chance of a seal being formed which could trap a body or entangle hair.

Safety Vacuum Release System: Another anti-entrapment device is the SVRS which works by providing an automatic rapid vacuum release if a drain gets blocked, freeing anyone whose body or limbs may have gotten stuck in the drain. These systems need to be installed by a professional, but once installed require little to no maintenance.

Pool Safety for Kids 

 According to safekids.org your children should learn these five water survival skills.
  1. Jump into water that goes over their heads and be able to resurface
  2. Be able to find an exit after turning in a full circle
  3. Tread water or float for at least a minute
  4. Exit the pool without using a ladder
  5. Be able to swim 25 yards to exit the water
Poolsafely.gov also offers songs, activities, and videos for you and your child to enjoy and learn about pool safety.

 We know what a big responsibility owning your own pool can be, having an App like vipHomeLink can help. vipHomeLink allows you to build a home profile, get safety tips for your pool as well as the rest of your home, and store contact information for any vendors you use.  You will also receive maintenance alerts and checklists that let you know what to do and when to do it. vipHomeLink makes home and pool ownership a breeze. 

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