Reading this guide will help you to ensure that you are free from swimming injuries and other accidents that may result in death. However, it is a known fact that a common cause of fatality among young people is swimming recklessly. Maintaining a safe swimming pool is no simple task – it takes strict adherence to codes and regulations, maintaining sanitary conditions, and remaining vigilant. One important aspect of swimming safety is having all rescue and swimming pool safety equipment available and in working order.
Here are a few simple tips and safety rules:
1) Inspect the pool area daily for slip hazards
Kids (and adults) can trip on objects and fall into the water if these items are left near the edge of the pool. Make sure floats, tubes, toys and cleaning equipment are stored away from the water when they’re not in use.
2) Keep chemicals properly
Here are some tips for proper pool chemical storage:
- Store chemicals separately and never mix to save space
- Store chemicals in a dry indoor location, like a garage
- Avoid inhaling fumes from chemicals
- Keep chemicals out of reach of children
- Discard expired chemicals
- When using pool chemicals, use gloves to handle, follow manufacturer product instructions, and test your water regularly.
3) Cover drains and suction hazards
Make sure drain covers are specifically designed to prevent suction hazards. If a pool drain cover is missing, do not use the pool until the cover is replaced. If you are in charge of purchasing or installing a replacement drain cover, make sure that the new cover is identical to the original or seek the advice of a qualified pool consultant to find an equivalent.
4) Learn CPR
Adults who have private swimming pools should be trained in CPR. A number of organizations such as the American Red Cross, fire departments and hospitals offer CPR certification courses. (Note: There are CPR classes online, but you’ll want to take a course in person to learn how to properly administer this lifesaving procedure.)
5) Check the electricity
For this step, walk around the pool area and check:
Check for damaged lights and shattered covers
If there are ANY loose wires in your pool area, first make sure that they aren’t live. Then properly remove them. Call a professional electrician if you require assistance.
Check that your power outlets are in good condition and equipped with ground faults to prevent electrical shock
6) Adult Supervision
No matter age or skill level, increase pool safety and enjoyment by ensuring that there’s always at least one non-swimming adult present for supervision. A whistle comes in handy to alert and command everyone’s attention promptly. There is no greater layer of protection than constant adult supervision.
7) Set pool rules
Educate your loved ones on what pool conduct is and is not acceptable. You might even create a list of “official” pool rules that includes these basic instructions:
- Don’t run on the pool deck
- Don’t dive into shallow water
- Don’t push anyone into the pool
- Don’t swim without an adult present
- Don’t dunk or hold anyone underwater
8) Toys, Games, and Floats
All recreational pool equipment should be safe and age appropriate for each individual. Never leave loose objects in or around the pool. Put toys away for security and safety, as curious kids may be intrigued by pool toys left out.
9) Ladders and Rails
If your ladders and rails are already installed:
- Check for rusted bolts and nuts
- Inspect for cracks and damage
- Test that the fixture is securely fastened by applying force
-If you haven’t installed your ladders and rails already:
- Ensure that there are no missing screws or pieces
- Inspect for unusual wear or damage
- Follow manufacturer instructions when installing new equipment
10) Ditch the diving board
Diving boards are huge culprits for pool injuries. Even if you know how to dive, you can easily slip off the board and hit your head. Consequently, Montegani advises homeowners to remove diving boards from their pools. Swimming pool slides are also safety hazards to consider taking down.
11) The filter, pump, and pool heater
Your pool pump is truly the heart of your swimming pool. It keeps your water flowing and powers the filtration process. Which is why it’s important to make sure it stays in good shape.
Before powering on your pump, check for:
- Loose seals and worn out O-rings
- Cracks or breaks in the pump’s housing
- An adequate power supply
For the pool filter, check for:
- Cracks or damage to the housing
- Leaks or loose connections
- A loose seal when opening and closing the filter
Last, walk over to your pool heater and check for:
- Loose PVC fittings and connections
- Non-refrigerant related leaks
- Worn or damaged power connections
- Proper power supply
- Before moving on, power on your pump. Then check that your pool heater turns on and stays on. If it doesn’t, it’s time to start pool heater troubleshooting.
12) Wear life jackets/Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)
Always wear life jackets or PFDs on a boat or dock. Life jackets/PFDs can also be worn when swimming, but children still need adult supervision. Life jackets/PFDs are never a replacement for adult supervision. Check the label to make sure that your life jacket/PFD is Transport Canada approved, and that it is the right size for your weight.
13) Outside Telephone
A cordless poolside phone lets you call for help or information quickly, without leaving the pool area.
14) Emergency Information
Post CPR, emergency (911 or other) contact information, and warning signs in a clearly visible spot near the pool. Consider performing routine safety drills to remind everyone what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency.
15) Keep your pool clean
Dirty pools grow bacteria and other germs that can make you sick. A few good habits help keep a clean and healthy environment in your pool:
- Always wash or shower before entering a pool. Do not track dirt from outside into the pool
- Make sure you wear a proper bathing suit. Do not swim in street clothes or underwear
- Use swim-specific diaper (reusable or disposable options are available). A non-swim diaper will not perform well in water
- Do not enter a pool if you are or have been sick, have had diarrhea or vomiting in the past 48 hours
- Do not enter the pool with open wounds/sores
- Never bring food or drinks in the pool as crumbs or spills can increase bacteria and attract pests. If a glass, cup or dish breaks, you will need to drain the pool so you can clean it and ensure all the broken pieces are removed
- Follow the operation and maintenance instructions for your pool circulation system. You can get this information from your pool supplier
If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!