Safety should be considered the most important feature when it comes to building your pool. According to the statistics for the Consumer Products Safety Commission each year 300 children under the age of five drown in a pool - despite most pools in our days are equipped with fences, alarms or pool covers.
Hazard 1: Old Fencing and Gates
The problem is, that many pool owners do not keep up with the maintenance of their pool safety features. Once a wooden fence and gate has survived many winters and rainstorms, it will not be sturdy enough to keep a determined 5-year old away from the promising blue sparkle of the water. Since the wood deteriorates over time the problem tends to sneak up on people. But once the gate finally does not close properly at all any more, it can already be too late. So, please check your fence and gate regularly and never use a rope to tie your gate shut.
Hazard 2: Incomplete Fencing
Some homeowners want to access their pool through the patio door, mostly a sliding glass door. What seems to be an enticing feature can turn out to be a big safety hazard. Once the fence is attached to the house, the actual protection is not provided by the fence, but by this sliding glass door, which isn’t necessarily self-closing, self-latching or self-locking. To ensure safety the fence has to be a complete enclosed barrier around the entire pool area.
Hazard 3: Cracked Pool-Covers
Jamie Snyder of The Albert Landscaping Group recommends using a cover for extra safety. “It is not only a great safety barrier and hides the tempting water, but also has the advantage to reduce the heating cost for a pool”, he explains. According to a study of the US Department of Energy a pool cover can reduce the gas heating cost for a pool from $1.904 to $296 this equals a yearly savings potential of $1791.
Unfortunately also pool covers can age. While many of them have a long life span, it depends a lot on the way you use them. A cover on a pool in a shady area will last longer than a cover which is exposed to direct sunlight all day.
Most covers feature a warranty of 10 to 20 years, but you have to watch out to use them for the purpose you bought them. If you buy a winter cover and let it sit out on the pool all summer, some manufacturers might not honor the warranty. Check your pool covers for cracks, as they get older. Often you can hear an old cover stretching when you gently push on it. That means that the cover is dry-rotted and can break when somebody walks or crawls on it. To prevent safety hazards keep up with the maintenance of your pool area and check your safety features on a regular basis.