A swimming pool is a part of an ideal home for many people, and for good reason. Is there anything better to do on a hot summer day then to relax on your porch with friends and family and then have a swim whenever you want to refresh? A pool is a beautiful addition to anyone’s home and it raises the price of the property if you decide to sell it one day. That is, of course, if your pool meets the safety measures that are becoming mandatory in more and more countries every day. These precautions are not to be taken lightly and even though you might not feel some of them are necessary, a huge percent of domestic accidents are related directly to inadequately secured pools. If you have decided to add this asset to your home, make that little extra effort to secure it because it truly is always better to be safe than sorry.
First step: a fence
The first step in securing your pool would be to put a fence around it. This is also the simplest way to secure it as it represents an almost impenetrable layer of safety if it is properly set up. The fence should be at least four feet high. The gate should be self-latching and it should open only from the inside-out. Some people are reluctant to place them around their pools because of the way they look, but looks should never come before anyone’s safety. See-through frameless fences are nowadays available in stores for reasonable prices. These fences are not just for kids and pets. Imagine how handy they would be if you threw a party and someone who’s had a couple of drinks more than they should wanders off to the pool. This kind of protection can be a real lifesaver in various situations.
Cover everything up
Another way to secure your entire pool in one step is to build in an impenetrable retractable cover that goes over your pool completely. This is the best way to secure the pool while you are not around. During the summer, when the pool would be uncovered most of the time, it is important to protect it in another way. The aforementioned fence will do the trick and, as you may have figured out already, there isn’t a single, universal way to secure your pool. The proper way is to combine several security measures so if one fails or is inactive, the other one will be there to compensate.
Sound the alarm
A great and obvious addition to the fence is an alarm system. Various systems for this purpose can be found on the market. You should choose one according to your needs and budget. However, be careful not to compromise its purpose just to save a little money. A proper alarm system should consist of both interior and exterior alarm installation. The outdoor ones should be installed on the pool gate, near the surface of the water and under the water as well. The interior one should have a good siren so you can hear it from any part of the house.
In addition, you can purchase a personal alarm worn as a wristwatch for the youngest and the eldest members of your family. This can help you relax, as you will be informed immediately if any of them goes near the water. This may seem overprotective and over-the-top, but this is one of the cases when it is truly much better to be safe than sorry.
Remember to accessorize
The must-have accessories for your pool are not just inflatable pool beds and martini glasses, but life rings, inflatable vests and other kinds of floating equipment. Beside these, you should acquire some ropes and a pole with a hook. If someone ends up in trouble while swimming, these will help you catch them and save their life. Place them neatly near the pool itself, not in a shed or somewhere in the house. It is crucial that they are within arm’s reach if there is trouble in sight.
It is also recommendable to install drains with anti-entrapment covers in order to prevent entangling of hair, clothes or, God forbid, limbs in the drainpipes. Drains should be inspected regularly because you may not even notice that a piece of wardrobe or jewelry has clogged it.
Write down your own set of rules and put them in plain sight. Don’t feel silly about it, as it is perfectly normal for you to set the boundaries on your own property. If you, for example, don’t allow smoking in your house, why should you tolerate any behavior you consider inappropriate near your pool. Print out the list of rules and place it on a visible spot near the pool. You can include emergency phone numbers, as well as your own and your family members’.
Keep it clean
Pool water is a great place for pathogenic microorganisms like athlete’s foot fungus to develop so it is extremely important to keep the water and the pool surroundings sanitary. The pool water is most often sanitized by chlorine solution and the ideal pH level of the water is around 7.5 (this is pH level of human skin surface). Occasional heavy chlorination is necessary if the pool is used frequently, since the regular solution might not be able to kill all of the undesired bacteria. Any household items that might end up in the pool should be removed immediately and tiles that lead to the pool as well as those that surround it should be washed with a disinfectant solution on a regular basis.
Anyone who owns a pool should learn how to administer first aid for drowning. A drowning person should, of course, be pulled out of the water immediately and have their breathing and pulse checked. You and your family members or anyone who has daily access to your pool should know how to perform CPR. Another thing that can happen to near-drowning survivors is dry drowning. It happens to people who inhale pool-water and it is extremely dangerous if this water remains in person’s lungs. It will take an hour or so for the symptoms to appear, so every near-drowning survivor should be immediately taken to a hospital.