As relaxing and enjoyable as pools are, they can be a dangerous place. An inexperienced swimmer, or even a strong swimmer who is horsing around can easily find themselves in serious danger if they aren’t careful in the swimming pool. But do you know which part of your pool could be the most dangerous for your loved ones?
Pool safety should be a top priority. Below, we’ve listed some of the typical swimming pool dangers you’ll find in residential pools. Take a look — and see if your pool is guilty of these potential hazards.
An Open Pool With No Barrier
One of the greatest dangers to pools, especially for young children, is when they’re left easily accessible without supervision. A pool barrier such as a pool fence, pool net, or pool cover is a requirement enforced by every state in the USA. Ensure that your pool is fitted with one and teach your children from a young age that it’s there for their safety.
Most swimming pools have lights, electric pumps, and other components to keep the water heated and filtered. However, these electric elements can spell serious danger if they aren’t installed or operated properly in the swimming pool. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone — it’s no secret that electricity and water and a very dangerous combination!
Proper installation is absolutely critical if you want to avoid turning your electrical wiring into a swimming pool danger. Any metal pieces installed within a meter of the water line need to be bonded with a ground loop. Any electrical elements that will have contact with the water (your lights, for example) need to be connected with a ground fault interrupter.
Most importantly, if you don’t know what those terms mean, don’t do the electric work yourself. Calling a professional to get this done properly is an absolute must if you want to swim safely.
Decks, Ladders, and Stairs
If you did a lot of swimming in your youth, you probably remember hearing your parents (or the lifeguard at the community pool) yelling out that irritating phrase: “No running on the deck!” While their words were the bane of many an excited swimmer’s existence, they were very important; pool decks often become slippery with water and algae, which greatly increases your risk of falling.
Similarly, pool steps and ladders can become slick with algae after months of sitting in the water. This can lead to slips, skinned knees, head injuries, and many other swimming pool dangers. Regular cleaning and algae control chemistry can help prevent these dangers and injuries.
To keep the deck from becoming a slippery mess, it’s best to pressure wash the deck once a year. You can also add silica sand to your concrete sealant, which will make your deck more slip-resistant. As for your stairs and ladders, adding algaecide to your water should help prevent them from becoming too slick. And while you’re at it, check the bolts securing your handrails in place. They tend to become loose over time.
Speaking of algaecide, water cleanliness is can also become a major danger for your swimming pool if you don’t maintain good upkeep practices. An unclean pool is often filled with bacteria, algae, and other microorganisms that can make swimmers quite sick, causing skin irritation and infections in the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.
If you notice your pool water turn murky or discolored, you are at risk for this nasty swimming pool danger! The best way to avoid this is by testing your water regularly and keeping it clean with the proper chemicals. Keep testing strips handy and make sure you have a supply of sanitizers, oxidizers, pH balancers, and any other chemicals you need to maintain sparkling clean water. Not only will this make your pool safer, but it will also be even more beautiful!
First things first: we don’t have anything against pool covers. In fact, many pool covers do a great job at keeping the pool off-limits while also maintaining water quality. But some covers (particularly the tarp-style ones that are secured with sandbags) do almost nothing to prevent swimming accidents. If a child or a pet ventures out onto the tarp, it will not be able to support their weight — causing them to fall into the pool.
If you have a tarp pool cover, you don’t need to throw it out. However, you should consider increasing your pool safety solutions. Adding a safety net or a pool fence to your existing cover gives your pool extra protection, which will help you prevent the devastating consequences of this particular swimming pool danger.
It can be strange to think of your children’s toys as a swimming pool danger, but in certain circumstances, they can become rather hazardous. For example, oversized flotation devices can flip over and trap young, inexperienced swimmers under them, putting them at risk of drowning and other injuries.
Honestly, the best way to keep this danger out of your swimming pool is simply to limit the number of toys your kids have while swimming. It’s also useful to be selective with the types of toys your allow in the pool; extra large floaties or inner tubes might be better for a trip to the beach or lake.
Skimmers, Pumps, and Drains
Skimmers and pumps are critical parts of your pool’s filtration system, as they remove debris and dirt from the water. While this does keep your water clean, these suction-based elements can present a major danger to any youngsters using your swimming pool. In fact, some pool pumps are powerful enough to hold a small child underwater!
Unfortunately, neutralizing this swimming pool danger isn’t as easy as some of the others. Pool drains are important, so the best thing you can do is use protective measures to keep kids away from them. Make sure that your pool drains have a safety vacuum release system in the event of an emergency, install a drain protector over the cover to prevent kids hands and feet from getting stuck, and teach your kids to avoid getting too close to the drain.
Work with All-Safe for the Safest Pool Possible
If you want your pool to be a safe place for your family and friends, it’s important to keep an eye out for these common swimming pool dangers. The sooner you spot (and correct) an issue, the better your swimming experiences will be.
Contact your local All-Safe dealer for a free pool safety consultation and complimentary quote on a barrier custom-made for your pool.