At a minimum, every backyard pool needs to be enclosed with a sturdy, non-climbable fence to help keep out people who may become injured if they were to use your pool without supervision. The pool can also be enclosed safely by having a non-climbable fence around the perimeter of the backyard. Removable safety fencing can also be an option for added safety around your pool as these fences can be kept closed at all times and then temporarily retracted when the pool is being used.
Self-closing gates with self-closing latches are also valuable safety measures and most often required by law to help pool yards stay securely enclosed. After fencing, another easy way to keep children and pets safe is to install locks on the inside of all of the house doors that lead to your backyard. Install the locks up high on the doors where children and even the smartest of dogs can’t reach them and keep the locks on at all times. You can also install electric door chimes and alarms to each backyard door that signal you when the door is opened even slightly. To this end, a more cost-efficient measure is to hang bells or other noise-making objects high up on doors so that when opened, you can be alerted by the sound.
With ever-advancing technology, people are also installing new indoor and outdoor monitoring cameras and devices, several of which have mobile apps that allow you to watch backyard activity from your cell phone. There are also tech-savvy child safety wrist bands that signal a remote alarm when the band becomes submerged in water. With these, as long as a child has the wrist band on, an alarm will sound if the child’s wrist is in the water. Pool sensors that detect splashing and activity in the water have also been a popular option and these are now being made better to reduce false alarms caused by leaves and falling or blowing debris.
The single most important safety measure is the appropriate supervision of children by an adult, while in and around your swimming pool. This adult needs to be completely attentive and not preoccupied by other activities. Socializing with friends may seem like an innocent enough distraction but an alarming amount of accidents have occurred with children falling and drowning in pools while surrounded by adults who were engaged in other fun activities. It is a worthwhile practice to officially designate one adult to the supervision and monitoring task during social occasions, and to ensure that this person is capable of the responsibility involved. As an added precaution, it would also be valuable to assign an alternate supervisor just in case the first supervisor needs to step away from the pool for any reason if even for a moment. Unfortunately, accidents only take a second or two so any length of time that a pool is unsupervised presents a dangerous situation and one that’s easily solved!