Home Improvements for Pool Safety

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ July 2, 2010

You'd be amazed at how many people roll their eyes when I mention pool safety. This year a close friend nearly lost his son to a pool accident. It's no laughing matter and certainly should not be minimized. Many municipalities have requirements for pool barriers, fences, and alarms integrated into the code requirements for adding a new pool or having a pool renovated. I'm appalled by people I meet who don't install safeguards or neglect to care for them.

Don't be surprised if you see public service broadcasts in conjunction with the July 4 holiday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding pool and spa safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a third of all children one to four years old who die from accidents are drowning victims and 20 percent of all drowning victims are 14 years old or younger.

Build a Pool Fence and Lock It

The CPSC recommends that homeowners install a four-sided barrier or fence surrounding the pool that is self-closing and locked when the pool is not in use. If your house forms one of the four surrounding walls, the CPSC suggests that you install alarms on any doors that open into the pool or spa area. The commission also recommends that you install safety covers, perimeter alarms, or in-water alarms if you truly want full protection and coverage.

It's not a bad idea to download and read the CPSC Handbook for guidelines on pool barriers. Its study of California, Arizona, and Florida--states where the most homeowners have pools--pool accidents were the number-one cause of death for children under five years of age. The CPSC guidelines recommend that chain-link fencing should not exceed 1-1/4 inches square if you choose not to include slats that reduce the size of all openings. Even above-ground pools should have barriers.

Planning a Pool Project?

Pools represent a huge investment, so it's a good idea to evaluate any pool contractor prior to putting a concrete-lined hole in your backyard that you may come to regret. No matter where you reside, there are less than obvious costs to consider, according to HomeOwnernet.

Have you considered additional insurance costs, the price of security fencing, outdoor and in-pool lighting, and the costs to upkeep your investment? Take your time and do it right. And have a fantastic Fourth!

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