A home swimming pool can provide years of enjoyment for you and your children. Those of us who have young children are likely very aware of keeping them safe when in and around the pool. You may have your own pool rules, or even have installed a fence around the pool to keep young kids out when you’re not around.
The importance of child safety around home swimming pools cannot be underestimated. Despite much public awareness accidents happen and every year unintentional drowning kills more than 700 children in the US; many more children suffer non-fatal injuries as well.
A measure you can take to help keep your children safe is to install a pool alarm. You might be surprised to learn that they are simpler and more affordable than you might think. You don’t need an ultra high-tech home or budget.
There are a few different types of pool alarm ranging in cost from $60-$200 on average. You can choose to install a pool alarm on access gates, doors and windows that lead to the pool, on the pool’s surface or submerged beneath the water. Another option is for children to wear a wrist alarm when entering the pool, though this does assume adult intervention and is not entirely foolproof.
How do swimming pool alarms work?
Alarms can be set to go off only when you’re not intentionally using the swimming pool. They can sound an alarm that radiates from the alarm itself, or from a receiver in the house. Good pool alarms can send the signal up to 200ft away.
Surface wave detection alarm – The unit can float on the surface of the water, or be mounted to the side of the pool with a smaller sensor floating on the surface. The alarm is triggered when a human or animal falls into the pool and creates a wave or disruption in the water.
Sub-surface alarm – Pool alarms that operate below the water are designed to detect a change in pressure as a person falls into the pool.
Where to get one
Pool alarms can be purchased online from stores such as Amazon, through your local pool supply shop or sometimes from your local pool contractor. The set up is usually minimal and does not require particular expertise.
Local codes around swimming pool alarms
One thing you should consider is local state and county codes. Some states, counties and municipalities require swimming pool owners to have a pool alarm and have standards for their use. If you are not sure about the rules for where you live speak to your local pool service company.
A pool alarm is just one of many considerations to keep all and especially young children safe around the pool; it is one however that is not as regularly considered, but makes a highly worthwhile investment for added peace of mind. Just make sure to do some good research before purchasing one, as performance varies among models.