With warmer weather comes an array of outdoor activities for the whole family, including cooling off in a pool if you are lucky enough to have one. But with a pool also comes the responsibility of safety must-haves and best practices that any parent or homeowner should be concerned with. With over 200 young children¹ drowning in backyard pools each year, these tips are critical to ensuring a fun environment for anyone who owns a pool to keep both their friends and family safe and secure.
• It is important to maintain secure fencing and a locked entrance around the pool and deck area to prevent access when adequate supervision is not available. Install self-closing and self-latching gates in the proper locations.
• Make sure no one swims alone. Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area, and see that less experienced swimmers are always accompanied by a swimmer who has water life-saving skills.
• Equip your door, gate or pool with an audible alarm to alert you if someone enters the pool area or falls into the pool while it is unattended.
• Diving should be prohibited unless a specific area of the pool is designated for safe diving. Water depth and diving-restricted areas should be clearly marked.
• Make sure there is adequate life-saving equipment in the pool area, including life preservers and a rope with life-saving rings, a reaching pole or rescue hook.
• Keep chemicals safely stored away from the pool area. Follow all storage and usage instructions recommended by the pool chemical manufacturer.
• Be sure electrical devices, including outdoor entertainment systems, are away from pool or wet surfaces. When using electrical devices outdoors be sure to plug them into a GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter). Keep the pool area clear of glass bottles, toys or other potential hazards.
• Check the deck for safety hazards (e.g. protruding nails, loose boards, etc.)
• Check the pool stair handrails and deck railing to ensure structural integrity from someone leaning on or grabbing it.