With the long summer days and hot afternoons comes an array of outdoor activities for the whole family. Swimming is one of the many wonderful things about summertime. A pool can set the scene for hours of family fun and playtime with friends and neighbors. Swimming pools though, come with their own set of hazards. Every year, more than 600 people drown in swimming pools, 200 of them being children. An unsupervised child can slip into a pool without a sound or splash. The best way to prevent pool accidents is to implement several layers of security.
Children should always be supervised when swimming. This reduces the risk of accidents and increases reaction time in case of an emergency. Adults should stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions such as cell phones and other portable devices. Children should never be left alone, even in a “kiddie pool”. Drowning incidents can happen in a matter of seconds, so it is important to remain attentive. It is essential to make sure your child doesn’t swim near the pool drain. The drain should have a protective cover so the grate is not accessible, and even then, accidents can still happen. Never allow anyone to swim alone, including adults.
Teach your children to swim at an early age and encourage the use of flotation devices of novice swimmers. Swimming is a valuable life-skill that should be taught as soon as possible to children. Make sure at least one adult in the pool area knows CPR. You should always keep a first aid kit close by, as well as a flotation device, and a cell phone nearby in case of an emergency. Safety devices should be used properly; Air-filled pool floats or foam toys are not life saving devices and should be kept away from the pool when not in use. Establish a set of rules and guidelines for your family and for visitors, and go over these rules with your kids, babysitters and visitors so they understand the expectations that you have for the use of your swimming pool.
Safety barriers such as fences, gates and security gates are necessary to keep your kids, neighbors, or pets from visiting your pool without supervision or permission. Children can climb out of a window, sneak through a door, or even a doggy door to get to the back yard and into the pool. Barriers are not childproof, but do provide layers of protection when there is a delay in adult supervision. Fences should be a minimum of 4 feet high, however, 5 feet or higher are preferable. Make sure the gates have self-closing and self-latching devices or locks. Children can easily open a gate and slip into the pool if parents are preoccupied. Remove tables, chairs, ladders, and toys from outside of the gate so that children cannot move the objects next to the fence to climb into the pool area. When leaving the pool, make sure all gates, safety covers, and alarms are functioning properly.
Pineland Southeast Fire and Burglar can install sensors to alert you if someone opens the pool gate or enters the area. For increased protection, you may decide to place sensors in multiple locations in your pool area. These sensors can alert you at your home or on your mobile device of an emergency before it’s too late. Effective alarms are not lifesaving devices, but can alert you to give you time to act.
A backyard swimming pool is such a nice amenity to have to cool off in, and swimming itself is fun and has great health benefits. With pool ownership though, comes great responsibility for the owner. Safeguarding your pool and taking proper safety precautions is a matter of life and death when it comes to swimming pool safety.
To learn more contact Pineland Southeast Fire at (912) 685-2059 or (888) 963-FIRE and on the web at www.southeastFBalarm.com. The team of Southeast Fire & Burglar Alarm has provided complete security solutions since 1999.