Every year there are many unfortunate accidents and drownings associated with swimming pools. Some of these occur in public, commercial pools, while others take place in residential pools. A pool is a source of fun and exercise, but should be treated with caution. Check to make sure you have a pool safety fence installed. A pool safety fence gives you peace of mind in knowing your young child, or children, are not going to accidentally enter the pool without you being present.
Your pool safety fence needs to be securely anchored into the pool deck which surrounds the pool. Most of these fences are made of some type of mesh material and completely block off all entrance to the water by small children or pets. They normally have a single gate that is self-locking when closed. These fences have many sections attached to each other by poles every four to five feet. These poles slide down into holes which have been drilled into the pool deck. Where each section ends, there is a latch at the top that joins it to the next section. By removing the latch, you can then take out one or two poles, fold the pool safety fence back and enter the pool. It is easier to have a gate installed at the main point of entry that will lock itself after you enter.
It is important to remember that a pool safety fence is only a barrier, and should not take the place of adult supervision when a child or pet has left the house and is out on the lanai. They are not “babysitters”, where you can let a child or pet go onto the lanai to play while you remain in the house. You can add a double layer of protection by adding door alarms so you will know if your child has gone onto the lanai without your knowledge.
Some people have above ground pools, which require a ladder to enter the pool. Above ground pools should have locking fences around them as well. Many people have their rear yards fenced in anyway, but you should still have locking gates that will prevent other people’s children and pets from entering the backyard and wandering into the pool. Removing the ladder from an above ground pool until you are there to supervise is a first step to safety.
The other type of safety precaution available is the safety cover. These lay flat over the pool and are secured around the perimeter of the pool deck by springs that hook over metal heads that pop up from the pool deck. These are normally used for winterizing a pool and are not practical for pools that are open year round.
Remember that any type of pool safety fence, barrier, or gate is not meant to take the place of adult supervision for your child or pet. You are the last safety barrier to prevent your child or pet from drowning. Check out our blog for more pool care information. And like us on Facebook!