Safety Tips for Residential Swimming Pools

You have cleaned the swimming pool and it glitters invitingly in the sun. But have you given enough thought to pool safety? Each year in the U.S. almost 300 children under age five drown in pools and spas, and thousands of people end up in the emergency room because of submersion incidents. You can take some simple measures to make sure you and your family enjoy your swimming pool in safety:

  • Drains. Entrapment by the suction of drains can be lethal. Since 2007 it has been a legal requirement to install anti-entrapment drain covers compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Under the Act you must also install a second anti-entrapment system if there is a single main drain other than an unblockable drain. The highest frequency of entrapment reports are among 5 to 9 year olds.
  • Fencing. Install a secure fence or similar barrier around the swimming pool and ensure that children cannot gain access to the swimming pool without an adult.
  • Swimming pool cover. Install a safety cover when the pool is not in use. The cover should be taut to prevent rain water from creating a new pool in the center of the cover.
  • Steps. Ensure that there are adequate steps to enable anyone using the pool to get in and out of the water easily.
  • Supervision. Never leave children, or anyone else who is at an increased risk of getting into difficulties, alone in or near a swimming pool.
  • Training. Teach your children to swim and learn some basic first aid and CPR.
  • Telephone. Install a phone by the swimming pool if it is not near the house.

Remember, even if you don't have children, consider the safety of others and make sure neighborhood children cannot access your pool.

Play safe and have fun.

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