How to Make Your Swimming Pool The Safest It Can Be

by Pool Builders on 04-01-2011 in Articles

When having a pool installed, safety should always be a number one priority and many municipalities mandate minimum safety regulations that should be followed.

One of the many layers of protection you can install are pool alarms. These are a good layer of protection when it comes to keeping children safe and alerting you to the fact of anyone - or anything, like a pet - falling into the pool. With the myriad types of pool alarms on the market it can be difficult to know which one is best for you and your needs. Consider the following information before making your final decision, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tested three different pool alarms: subsurface disturbance sensors, surface wave sensors and a wristband sensor. Surface wave sensors float on the surface of the water; subsurface sensors attach to the side of the pool with a portion of the sensor submerged below the water's surface; the wristband sensor is worn by the child and the alarm goes off if the wristband goes into the water.

The CPSC study tested different alarm devices in six different types of backyard pool shapes and depths. Its goal was to determine whether surface and subsurface wave sensors would alarm when a test object entered the pool. It also tested whether the wristband would alarm without fail when exposed to the pool water. It also tested for false alarms like rain, wind, a pool toy or debris dropping into the pool.

The test results indicated that the surface sensors didn't operate with as much reliability as the subsurface sensors did. The subsurface sensors were more consistent in alarming when they were supposed to and less likely to trigger a false alarm. The wristbands sensors reliably sounded an alarm each time it was submerged to pool water and other water sources - a hose or faucet.

There were no infrared sensors tested by the CPSC. Infrared detection alarms are motion activated and sound an alarm when an object breaks the beam of light that is covering the pool. Think of the infrared beams you see in action flicks.

Depending on your circumstances and the type of alarm you consider installing, here are a few features to think about when determining which kind of pool alarm is right for you:

  • Ease of installation
  • Tamper resistant/tamper proof
  • Remote receiver with range of up to 200 feet or more
  • Low battery indicator
  • Choose one that is recommended for the size, shape and depth of your pool
  • Ability to detect an object a light as 10 pounds
  • An alarm that is loud and distinct enough to not be mistaken for background noises and one that sounds within 20 seconds

Once you've made your decision and had your alarm installed, perform regular tests to determine that it is in working order. Remember, though, pool alarms are an added layer of protection and are no substitute for adult supervision and vigilance.

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