A swimming pool is a perfect addition to anyone’s backyard during the hot summer months. However, homeowners should remember that a swimming pool is still an open body of water. Even if you’re confident your family and friends know better than to get hurt while swimming, accidents may still happen. That’s why it’s so important to select and install good swimming pool safety features long before anything goes wrong.
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Swimming Pool Safety Features
While not every item of pool safety equipment is legally required for homeowners, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a swimming pool. Before you or anyone else start using your pool, make sure these features are installed and working properly:
- Pool fences
- Anti-entrapment equipment
1) Pool Fences
In Texas, swimming pool owners are required to install a 4-foot fence around an inground pool to prevent people from falling in. The law leaves room for particular appearances and styles, so long as a fence is constructed. This feature is especially critical for families with small children. Read more about your legal responsibilities and pool fence requirements here.
There are two primary types of safety covers for swimming pools: conventional tarp-like covers and a pool net. Both are about equally effective at preventing people from accidentally falling in, though they both have other pros and cons of their own. For instance, a pool net lets you enjoy the natural atmosphere of an open body of water at all times but doesn’t catch leaves that may fall into your pool. As long as you choose a reliable safety cover, the aesthetics are entirely your choice.
3) Anti-Entrapment Equipment
A pool or spa drain creates a powerful suction that even adults have trouble escaping. Imagine what could happen to a child! Because of the danger these drains can present, many pool owners are highly encouraged or required to use anti-entrapment equipment, which is simply pool parts that cover drains and facilitate a quick emergency shutdown if necessary. This is perhaps one of the most crucial pieces of pool safety equipment you could possibly buy. Learn more about this equipment’s legal history and your exact responsibilities here.
Pro Tip: The same requirements and recommendations for pool drain covers apply to public pools too. If you notice a public pool has uncovered drains, the risk isn’t worth it–find a safer place to swim.
Finally, one excellent way to secure your swimming pool is to make sure that no one gets in without your permission. Install alarms on pool covers, gates in pool fences, and any other access points so you know immediately if someone tries to sneak in. While it may not save someone from drowning, it can prevent the situation from ever escalating to that point in the first place.
Protecting Yourself and Others
You can never predict a swimming pool accident or emergency. If you or a friend make a mistake near the pool, you’ll be immensely grateful you made sure your swimming pool’s safety features were installed correctly and ready to protect you.
Join the conversation to learn more about keeping yourself and your friends safe around swimming pools.