Most Americans are at least aware of the dangers that pool use entails. This means that they are better equipped to learn how to offset and combat those dangers. However, many pool owners and individuals who live near public pools don’t know the importance of pool safety during the off-season.
Drownings and other accidental deaths and injuries are very common in and around pools that are not actively being used. This is the result of several factors, such as individuals trying to enter a pool alone, as well as bad off-season maintenance of pools.
Keeping your pool as safe as possible during the off-season is especially important if you live with or near young children or the elderly. However, an improperly winterized pool can be just as dangerous even to a strong, healthy adult.
How to Prevent Drowning and Other Accidental Death or Injury During the Off-Season
The single most important thing you can do as a pool owner is surround your pool entirely with a strong pool fence at least four feet high (although some experts recommend even higher fences). Keep this fence locked at all times, except when you are personally in the pool area for maintenance.
This fence will prevent children, pets, and others from accessing the pool area during the off-season, when the pool is at its most dangerous. The fence will also help give your children safety and you peace of mind during the pool season, and will keep out wild animals and intruders.
Some pool owners choose not to fence their pools for aesthetic or financial reasons. However, this is always unsafe and often illegal. Besides, there are many attractive and affordable pool fencing options available from companies like Pool Guard USA, who also offer pool covers and alarm systems.
The Importance of a Pool Cover During the Off-Season
Virtually every pool owner uses some kind of a pool cover during the off-season. This cover keeps out dirt, leaves, and other refuse.
However, many do not use safety pool covers, which could easily save a life. Unlike a traditional pool cover, a pool safety cover will not collapse under significant weight. Many are guaranteed to stay strong under many hundreds of pounds, or even tons of weight.
If a child or other individual steps or falls onto a traditional pool cover, he or she can be trapped by the cover and drown in whatever water lies on top of the cover. A safety cover, however, will not collapse under his or her weight. This will keep the child safe under virtually any circumstances.
Although a pool fence is necessary and will prevent most accidents, you cannot rely on it to prevent every possible person from getting into the pool area at every possible time. This is why safety covers are important—even if someone gets past the fence, that person will be much safer with a safety cover.
Other safety features, such as pool alarms, security cameras, and walls around the pool area will make your children and neighbors even safer. For maximum safety, check all safety equipment, especially fencing, regularly for corrosion or other signs of wear and tear.