When you think about owning your pool, you’re thinking about fun afternoons spent with family and friends, soaking up the sun and splashing in the water. What may not be on your mind are the various steps you should take to ensure your pool is a safe environment.

Pool safety is a big responsibility that comes with pool ownership. Especially with young children, you want to be sure you take the necessary precautions to secure your pool to prevent accidents and injuries from taking place. The good news is the steps to achieve a safe pool area are straight forward and common sense. However, even the most obvious pool safety tips can be unintentionally overlooked.

If you are a pool owner, or one day hope to be, here are some key things you should keep in mind when it comes to pool safety.

 1. Always have adult supervision

It may seem like common sense, but adult supervision is by far the most important thing you can do to keep your swimming pool safe. Something as quick as stepping into the house to get a towel or being distracted on the phone is all the time it takes for a serious accident to occur. There should be at least one adult in the pool area at all times if there are kids around (whether they are actually in the pool or not). If you are entertaining and there is a group of guests using the pool, there should be multiple eyes on the pool and the kids at all times. Constant vigilance and being serious about it will greatly reduce the risks of pool or pool side accidents.

Take it seriously when you designate an adult to watch the children and be sure to communicate when someone is “switching shifts.” You must be prepared to take these precautions if you are thinking of owning or do own a swimming pool.

2. Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa

If you are planning out your new pool project or maybe taking a look at what you currently have set up at your pool, there are a few safety measures of which you need to be aware. You want to make sure that your pool area follows all local and national codes and regulations regarding fencing/barriers, door alarms and code compliant pool equipment. Your pool professional will (or should) be able to advise you on these standards.

Fence heights and dimensions should be installed to meet codes and all gates should be self-closing and self-latching with latches that are mounted high enough to be out of reach for children. Any doors from the home leading directly into the pool area should be equipped with approved alarms that alert you to someone unexpectedly entering the pool area.

Specific to the construction of your pool, your pool builder should have applied for the proper permits and inspections required for your swimming pool project. Your local municipality will review and inspect the project to ensure that proper drains and suction grates are installed on the pool, the pool electrical wiring and bonding was done properly and that the pool construction is sound and safe. Your pool professional can advise you on these subjects and also give you some additional ideas and options (pool covers, lighting, etc.) that may improve pool area safety.

3. Make sure all guests know how to swim

Enroll kids into swimming lessons or classes at an early age. Knowing how to swim is an invaluable skills for the est of your life! Organized swimming lessons are available most everywhere. Have swimming instructors teach your kids the correct way to appreciate and enjoy the water. Don’t be afraid to ask potential guests if they or their kids have had swimming lessons or what their level of ability is.

4. Keep extra floaties and life vests on hand

Purchasing a few extra sets of life vests and floaties is well worth the investment. When younger children come to swim you will have ample supplies to keep them safe. In case a guest arrives unprepared, you can lend them an extra life vest. Everyone will enjoy the experience more with the proper swim gear. One important thing to note is that a pool filled with a lot of rafts and pool toys can cause an unsuspected pool danger. Too many pool toys can make it hard to see all the swimmers. Limit the number of pool toys being used in the pool at any given time to maintain a clear view of all areas of the pool.

5. Have rules and enforce them consistently

As a pool owner, it’s not only your right but it’s your duty to establish rules for your pool and to enforce them consistently. Be sure to tell guests about your rules. One example is asking all children swimmers to pass a “swim test” before they may swim in the deep end of the pool. Another is to always walk, never run within the pool area. Get creative and have your rules printed on a sign and hang it in the pool area. This can serve as a decoration as well as a safety precaution.

For children who are old enough to understand, inform them of the various dangers of swimming in a pool. This will help them take an active role in avoiding these dangers and remind others to be aware of them as well. Teach them to not dive in the shallow end, to walk around the pool and to stay away from the drains. Small reminders can help you avoid big accidents.

6. Learn CPR

Finally and most importantly, have key members of your family (or everyone!) learn CPR. This certification will be invaluable if ever needed. You never want to think about a situation where a swimmer might need CPR, but should it happen you will be equipped to prevent a bad situation from turning into a horrific one. Think of it as your pool owner’s “license.” Learning CPR will never be a waste of time!

It’s our passion to work with families to create a fun and safe pool environment. Have a question? Contact us today!