Finally the first weekend with beyond gorgeous weather, that makes everyone starting to think of all the upcoming summertime fun! If you own a pool at one of your investment properties, it may be time to start planning the pre-summer maintenance your pool requires. Everyone knows the saying “Safety first!” Therefore, let’s review some basic pool safety tips to ensure your pool is equipped for the upcoming summer season.
Safety Pool Covers: One of the most crucial safety devices that a pool owner should have is a safety pool cover. Note that a winter pool cover and solar pool covers are NOT safety covers. To be a safety pool cover, it is required that a pool cover be able to hold a minimum of 485 pounds per five square feet.
Mesh Safety Pool Covers: Mesh safety pool covers are designed for long-term use, such as when closing swimming pools for winter. Mesh safety pool covers require little maintenance because debris that lands on them blows off the top, and rain and snow drain through the mesh panels; however, with the screen-like material of mesh, some silt and dirt may get through the webbing. On the other hand, because puddles cannot accumulate on the surface, having a mesh-style safety pool cover eliminates the risk of toddlers or pets unexpectedly coming in contact with shallow water.
Solid safety pool covers: Solid safety pool covers work similarly to mesh covers in that they can be secured to a deck by anchors. Solid safety pool covers may not be best for use in areas that receive heavy rain or snowfall. Unlike mesh covers that allow water to drain through the cover, precipitation can accumulate on a solid cover, creating a puddle of water over the pool. The collected water may tend to make the cover sag and present a hazard to any small children or pets who, if unsupervised, wander onto to pool cover. To combat this problem, some manufacturers incorporate drain panels into solid vinyl covers. Small cover pumps that automatically pump water off the cover as soon as it is detected may also be used.
Anti-Entrapment Equipment: Suction entrapment can occur when a swimmer gets pulled down by the suction of a pool or hot tub drain. If this happens, the victim can get their hair, limbs, or other body parts trapped and pulled toward the drain.
A Safety Vacuum Release System — or SVRS for short — is an automatic suction force release system. When a drain becomes blocked, the SVRS provides a rapid vacuum release. This quickly frees anyone whose body or limb is trapped on the drain. An SVRS works whether or not there is a cover on the drain, and does not interfere with the pump function. Once installed, an SVRS requires little or no maintenance. It is recommended to have a pool professional install the SVRS.
Pool Alarms: There are many different types of pool alarms to consider depending on your budget, type of pool, and technical requirements. Remember that pool alarms are one tool that will help to make your swimming area safer. Parental guidance and vigilance are primary in ensuring pool safety.
Gate alarms: Gate alarms are mounted directly on your pool’s gate with two magnetic switches. These alarms, which are battery powered, activate when the gate is opened and the electrical field is broken. There is an override button that can be pressed by an adult to allow them to pass through without sounding the alarm. Gate alarms are designed for outdoor use. The alarms come in many different sizes, are inexpensive, and easy to install.
Door alarms: Door alarms are designed for swimming pools that include the building in some part of their entire perimeter. When the door is opened an audible alarm sounds. These alarms, which are turned on and off using a key or a keypad, are either battery powered or use the building’s current. They are affordable; easy to install, and provide a warning if the door is opened. They are also useful in detecting intruders.
Taking the appropriate safety measures before the pool season starts will help ensure a fun and safe summer. What other pool safety tips do you observe?