Is My Pool Safe?
As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to keep your family and guests safe while in your home and on your property.A swimming pool, like any body of water, comes with inherent risks that need to be mitigated. In the industry, we refer to the “multiple layers of protection”. These are mechanical and structural components that significantly increase the safety of your swimming pool – every pool owner should know what these are, why they are used and whether their pool has them. You can also get creative and include custom safety features into the design, construction or renovation of your pool based on the age and needs of the swimmers.
MULTIPLE LAYERS OF PROTECTION
CT and NY laws mandate the following safety components and specifications for new all swimming pools.
1. Adult Supervision
This is the single most important safety precaution. Never leave children unattended in the pool area.
2. Atmospheric Vacuum Relief Systems
These systems protect against suction entrapment by detecting change in vacuum pressure. These systems release the vacuum or shut off the pump, or in better systems perform both functions. Some new pumps are equipped with both SVRS (Safety Vacuum Release System) and VS (Variable Speed) features to be both safe and energy efficient.
3. Code Compliant Frames & Grates
Code compliant frames and grates are designed to prevent hair entanglement, body entrapment and finger entrapment as well as improved Ultra Violet (UV) stability of the outlet covers. If a grate is missing or damaged, do not use the pool until it is repaired or replaced.
4. Dual Drain Separation
Pool pumps circulate water from the pool, through the filter/heater system and return the filtered/heated water back to the pool. Each suction line in the pool must be divided in two in order to prevent suction entrapment. If you have a single suction line contact your pool Service Company and have it corrected.
5. Barrier Protection
A code compliant fence is essential in restricting access and providing protection against potential drowning.
There are countless other ways to increase the safety of your swimming pool. Any of the following elements can be incorporated into the design of a new pool or the renovation of an existing pool.
Installing an automatic cover gives you the ability to close and lock your swimming pool any time it’s not in use. Overnight, during the week, while you are away on vacation, whenever you want added peace of mind you can lock your pool.
Many of our customers have wall grips built into the interior perimeter of their swimming pool – especially if the pool wall is raised far above the water line. These are small “pockets” that swimmers can hold onto in order to rest in deeper water. They are especially important for young or new swimmers who may tire quickly in the water.
Swim-out Bench Exits
The more easy-access exits built into your swimming pool, the safer it is for swimmers of all ages. Swim-out benches are a more elegant looking option than ladders and are significantly easier for swimmers to use.
Decorative accent tiles can be placed at the beginning of exits to creatively call attention to their location.
Swimming pools must have adequate lighting to ensure continued safety at all hours. There are countless in-pool, deck, and spotlight options available to illuminate your swimming pool in a manner that complements the design of your home and landscaping.
Floating Pool Alarm
This isn’t a creative feature, but many people ask about these and by law, we give one to every new customer. Some alarms hang off the edge of your pool’s coping and rest at water level and some actually float in the pool. They will detect ripples in the surface and alert that something or someone has entered your pool. These should be viewed similarly to a smoke alarm in that they can be falsely triggered and are reactive NOT preventative.
While you can never be too careful, we caution customers not to rely too heavily in safety enhancements or accessories. Please remember that while these options absolutely help increase the safety of your swimming pool, there is no substitute for direct supervision by an adult who is a strong swimmer. We at Shoreline Pools also recommend that you hire a certified lifeguard for any event that you host at your swimming pool especially when children are present.