Home Security - Swimming Pools

by Pool Builders on 06-15-2009 in Articles

Is your swimming pool safe? Here are some facts to consider:

• A person can drown in a few inches of water within a few seconds.
• Most child drowning accidents (and deaths) occur while the victim is being supervised.
• In most instances the child was out of sight for less than 5 minutes.
• Most drowning victims are under the age of 5.
• More than 300 children, under 5 years of age, drown in swimming pools, in the U.S. each year.

A drowning typically happens very quickly and without warning. When the safety of loved ones is left solely to the watchful eyes of humans, the chances of an incident are far greater. Implementing mechanical swimming pool security precautions can't completely guarantee against accidental drowning, but it certainly can minimize the risk. Security fencing and a wide variety of alarms are readily available to assist with swimming pool security.

Perhaps the most simplistic and most commonly overlooked security feature is fencing. Fencing can be permanent or removable. In its simplest version, one can purchase mesh nylon fencing that can easily be attached to existing columns or attached to decorative posts that are placed around the perimeter of the pool. Prefabricated metal panels are also an attractive and affordable option.

Assuming you have fencing in place, gate alarms are a very effective safety feature. The alarm is mounted directly on your pool's gate. They are battery powered and emit a loud alarm when the gate is opened and the magnetic field is broken. The alarm can be temporarily disabled by when an adult presses an override button. Installation is simple. One minor drawback would be the need to constantly monitor the battery strength to ensure the alarm is functional.

When the pool is accessed by a door leading from the house, an audible door alarm is a valuable security item. As the door opens a loud beep or chime is heard. Door alarms can be powered by batteries or the home's electrical current. Sometimes these alarms become a nuisance due to the fact that they're activated every time the door opens. This can be annoying when adults or older children create the primary flow of traffic. Consequently, if the alarm is disengaged to avoid the annoying sound, you're left with an unsecured entry point for your pool. Window alarms operate in similar fashion and might be of use if the pool could be accessed by opening a window.

Perimeter alarms use laser (infra red) light to create an invisible beam of light around the pool. When the beam is broken, by someone (or something) walking through it, it will cause the alarm to sound. The installation is very flexible but appropriate measures should be taken into account. It should be mounted low enough that a crawling child would activate it. However, be mindful that if a large pet has access to this area, it will constantly trip the warning device. Perimeter alarms can be rather expensive.

Wrist alarms are a relatively new product. These alarms are placed on the child's wrist and locked into place. The wrist alarm communicates with a base station. The alarm on the base station is activated when the wrist alarm becomes submerged in water. A single base unit can support several compatible wrist alarms, making them reasonably inexpensive. Be warned, however, that these units are not operable in salt water.

Certainly any one of these security measures will help to create a safe swimming environment. However, it might be wise to consider a combination of these safety measures. Losing a child to a drowning accident is a horrible tragedy, but the odds can be greatly reduced by utilizing some of these options.

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