There’s nothing quite so relaxing and refreshing on a hot summer day as a nice, long dip in the pool, especially when that pool is just a few short steps from the back door. Still, as nice as it can be to have a swimming pool in your own back yard, it’s not without risks. And knowing a few simple pool safety tips can make that after-work dip all the more relaxing.
Pool Safety Tip #1: Set some rules, especially for kids. Pool decks are slippery, no matter what they’re made of. Make sure kids (and adults) know running and horseplay is not allowed – no pushing people into the pool and no dunking. Backyard diving boards aren’t a good idea either. And never let a child swim alone.
Pool Safety Tip #2: Know the codes. Most municipalities have codes regarding swimming pools, including the erection of fencing of a specific height to keep young kids and pets from falling in and drowning. Make sure your pool meets local codes to avoid both fines and accidents. Even if your municipality doesn’t require a fence, it’s still a good idea. Make sure it has locks or other features that prevent pets and kids from wandering in. Some gates even come with alarms.
Pool Safety Tip #3: Check your insurance. While a standard homeowner’s policy offers some liability protection, if you have a pool, you might want to increase your coverage or even add an umbrella policy. It’s a surprisingly affordable way to make sure you have plenty of protection if an accident does occur.
Pool Safety Tip #4: Skip the extension cords. Stringing a long cord all the way from the side of your home to your pool filter is just asking for trouble. Why? It’s a tripping hazard (not to mention a possible code violation and electrical hazard to boot). Instead, have an electrician run electricity to the pump so you can plug in nearby. And make sure the outlet is grounded and protected from water and prying fingers.
Pool Safety Tip #5: Watch the chemicals. No one wants to float around in a pool full of green algae, but going overboard with the chemicals can cause eye irritation and even burns. If you must “shock” your pool with a large dose of chlorine or other chemicals, keep people out of the water until the levels “adjust” themselves so there’s no risk of irritation.
Pools and summer just go together, and they’re a great way to spend lots of relaxing, quality time with family and friends. Using a little common sense and following a few simple pool safety rules means you can focus more on fun and less on worry.