Ok we’ll admit it, talking about pools in the winter feels strange, but we must do it. Pool safety is just as important this time of year. Sadly, pool accidents can happen even in the off season when your pool is closed. Like tragedies in the summer months, drownings and other injuries in the winter months can be avoided and prevented by various safety measures. Whether you have in-ground or above ground, gunite or fiberglass, safety looks about the same for each. Let’s start by talking about pool covers.
If you have an in-ground pool, you likely already have a pool cover over it. But is it safe for people and animals? Solid pool covers sit on top of the water and help keep out leaves and other debris. But they can be very dangerous- if a pet or person is to fall onto this kind of pool cover, they can easily get stuck and dragged down into the water, and drown. The best option is to invest in a safety cover. They’re long lasting, low maintenance, and they can hold the weight of an elephant. If a child, animal or even an adult were to step onto the cover by accident, they would be able to walk off without any issue. That doesn’t mean it can be used as a walking surface, but it does mean you can have peace of mind when pets and people play in your backyard when the pool is closed.
If you have a pool in your backyard, you should have a fence. You most likely already have that safety measure in place, since many insurance companies won’t even insure you without one. State, county, and city laws, and insurance companies often have specific standards regarding fence height, material, spacing, and specific gate standards. This keeps neighboring children and pets from wandering into your yard and potentially falling into your pool.
An additional step would be to install some kind of pool alarm for the gate, doors or windows with access to the pool area, and/or the pool itself. This is a particularly recommended step if you have children in your immediate or extended family who may be entering the pool area from inside your house.
In the summer, make sure any pool toys, floats, and other enticing things are removed when the pool isn’t in use. Items like these may draw children to the pool and ultimately lead to accidents.
Ensure that a responsible adult is always supervising children in or near the pools. In the pool, make sure that horsing around doesn’t get carried away and that people jumping off the diving board or going down the slide are not going in at the same time, but instead taking turns. For children outside the pool, make sure that they walk around the deck and not run. Also, they need to stay away from the edge of the pool so that they aren’t tempted to reach toys in the pool and accidentally fall in. During the off season, teach children to walk around and not over the safety cover. It’s just as important to keep an eye on them when the pool is covered and not in use (especially if you’re not using a safety cover).
Above Ground Pools
To prepare your above ground pool for winter and keep everyone safe, you need to remove any steps or ladders from the exterior first. Additionally, you’ll need to remove any items from the yard that could be used to step into the pool. If you have a pool deck, install a secondary safety fence to ensure that access to the pool is limited. If the deck completely surrounds the pool, you’ll need to add a safety cover.
As we’ve previously discussed, most in-ground pools will have fences. During the winter months, do a thorough inspection of your fence for any holes or damage and repair them as soon as they are found. Keep pool alarms in place and connected even when your pool is covered.
When you use the proper safety rules and measures, you will all be able to enjoy your pool to the fullest, with little to no worries about injuries or accidents. If you don’t have a pool and are considering it, now is the time to start planning so that yours can be installed and ready for summer! DSLD Land Management is your pool installation company in Birmingham, AL and we now offer gunite pools! Contact us today so we can go over what kind of pool you are wanting for next summer.