4 home swimming pool safety tips

Last updated: January 1

Is my pool safe? That’s a question many home swimming pool owners may be asking themselves this summer. Check out the following four safety tips to learn if you’re doing what you can to help make your swimming pool safer for summer fun.

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1. Have the proper equipment

Do you have a fence? A pool cover? Have you checked your pool drains lately? Consider these tips from PoolSafely.gov:

  • Invest in a sturdy pool cover for times when the swimming pool isn't in use.
  • Consider installing a self-latching fence around the pool. Be sure to choose fencing materials that aren't easy to climb. PoolSafely.gov also recommends your fence be at least 4 feet high.
  • Check your pool's drain and suction covers. If they are missing or broken, repair them immediately and keep everyone out of the pool until they're fixed. Faulty drains may cause accidental entrapment.
  • Make sure your drains meet the standards of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
  • If a door in your house leads to the swimming pool, you may want to install a door alarm to help alert you if someone — especially a child — is entering the pool area.
  • Keep flotation devices and a pool hook nearby to help aid in a rescue situation.
  • Have a first aid kit and a pair of scissors nearby in case you need to potentially cut hair or clothing if it's causing an entrapment.

2. Be vigilant about covering up your pool

When you've finished enjoying the pool, remember to take all the toys and flotation devices out of the pool so that curious children don't try to reach for them. Also, cover the pool and lock the fence. If you have an above-ground pool, don't forget to remove the steps or ladder so no one can climb them when no one is looking.

3. Never leave kids unattended

Pools can pose danger, especially to children. That's why you should never leave kids unattended when they're swimming in the pool. You may want to consider having a phone nearby in case you need to call if there's an emergency, adds PoolSafely.gov. It might also be a good idea to designate a "Water Watcher" whose sole job is to look after the kids without any distractions like a book or cellphone, says PoolSafely.gov.

4. Clean your pool often

Dirty pool water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs that may cause illness for your swimmers. By making an effort to keep your swimming pool and water as clean as possible, you may help minimize the possibility of diseases. Consider sanitizing your pool regularly with chlorine and test the water to help make sure you're maintaining the correct pH level, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says should remain between 7.2 and 7.8.

Following these safety tips can help you and your loved ones enjoy the summer fun by the pool with a little more peace of mind.