Having your own pool can be a great way to create a backyard paradise for your Florida home. Pools can be a great place to lounge, offer an excellent way to exercise, and can be wonderful fun to play in. Unfortunately, they can also be what is often referred to as an attractive nuisance, presenting danger to the careless, clueless, or unwary. As the owner, it is your responsibility to make sure your pool is safe. So how do you do that?
One of the first things you should do is invest in a high quality pool fence. You need to be able to control who is or isn’t allowed to use your pool and when they are allowed to use it. A fence is essential for doing so. The laws regulating fences vary by location, but in Florida, your fence must be at least 4 feet tall and have no gaps or openings that a small child could use to get over, under, or through the fence. Additionally, it should have a gate that meets those same requirements in addition to opening outwards and away from the pool, is self-closing with a self-latching locking mechanism, and has a release mechanism on the pool side that is out of reach for a small child. You can use the side of your house as a part of your barrier, but only if it doesn’t have windows doors that can be opened to allow access to the pool.
Fences are good, but don’t put them so close to the pool that it interferes with a walkway. One of the regulations Florida has in place regarding pool fences is that they must be far enough away from the pool that anyone who gets through doesn’t immediately fall in. Walkways give people a safe way to get around the pool. Concrete walkways will last a long time and have an added benefit of looking really nice. You can customize your concrete walkways by painting or staining them. Just make sure that what you do doesn’t make them slippery whether the surface is wet or dry, since that can be a serious safety hazard.
Even the best safety precautions may not always be enough, and emergencies can strike unexpectedly. Make sure you have rescue equipment close by. You should have a life hook you can reach out to a struggling swimmer to pull them to safety. It should be stored somewhere that is both visible and easily accessible from the pool. A life hook should feature a shepherd’s hook attached to a one-piece 16 foot pole. It’s also important to have a flotation device handy that you can throw in case you can’t reach them. A lifesaving ring should be 18 inches in diameter. The rope should be long enough to reach all parts of the pool and be in good condition, free from fraying. It should also be stored in a similar manner to the life hook, without being tied or locked down. In both cases, if your pool is over 50 feet, you should have one of each on each long side of the pool.
Pool covers keep dirt and debris out of your pool, and can help discourage people and animals from getting in as well. This helps keep the pool clean when it’s not in use and helps you control who uses it and when. There are a variety of types of pool covers, each with their own sets of pros and cons. The safety pool covers in particular are especially helpful in reducing the risk of accidental drownings of both children and pets. They do a great job of keeping leaves, sticks, and toys out of your pool, and help protect it from algae growth as well, all of which helps keep your pool and everyone else protected and safe.
It’s never a good idea to go swimming alone, whether you’re an adult or a child. Since you probably don’t have your own personal life guard, it’s best to have an adult supervisor who isn’t actively swimming keeping an eye on things. Ideally, the supervisor should be a strong swimmer themselves so they can provide assistance if needed. They need to know where the rescue equipment is and how to use it. They should also be familiar with the signs of drowning. A drowning person doesn’t look like they do in the movies. It’s also important to be well versed in CPR and First Aid. Hopefully they won’t ever have to use it, but in the event that they do, that information can literally save someone’s life.
Don’t leave safety entirely in the hands of the adult supervisor. Your children need to be familiar with pool safety and the rules about its use. They need to know not to run around the pool and how deep they can safely go. Children who aren’t strong swimmers should know to use proper flotation devices. Teach them to wait for an adult before getting in the pool. Make swimming lessons a priority so they can learn how to be safe in a pool.
The chemicals you put in your pool are important for keeping it disinfected and safe. If the levels are too high or too low, that can cause problems for swimmers and need to be adjusted before anyone is allowed in. The industry standard for pools is a pH level between 7.4-7.6. This keeps things comfortable for swimmers, since the pH of your eyes is 7.5, and allows your pool to be properly disinfected.
Making sure your pool is safe is an absolute must. Start by installing a locked pool fence. Make sure there is adequate walkway space surrounding it. Have rescue equipment close by and keep it covered when not in use. Always have an adult supervisor present who has had pool safety training. Remember to keep it chemically balanced. This will help keep everyone safe when using your pool.
We can fence in your pool to make sure that your family and guests stay safe. Contact us to request a quote!