An alarming percentage of accidental deaths of children are due to drowning in residential swimming pools. Pool safety covers can help prevent this tragedy, but are they a replacement for a pool fence?
If you have your own swimming pool, it’s important to invest in protective measures to keep people safe when the pool isn’t in use. A huge number of swimming pool related accidents every year result in injury or even death, so it’s crucial that pool owners take the necessary precautions to prevent these tragic accidents. There are two tools that are commonly used for this – a pool cover and a pool fence.
If you’re considering a pool cover, you need to be sure it is designed specifically as a pool safety cover. These covers are very thick and heavy, with straps and brackets that keep them securely in place. If you can’t walk across the pool cover easily, it’s probably not safe enough to prevent drowning. A good pool safety cover can support nearly 500 pounds for every five square feet.
Pool Covers vs. Pool Fence?
Pool owners know that a pool cover can keep the pool clean during the winter. However, most pool covers are no defense against accidental drowning. In fact, solar pool covers and winter pool covers will sink under the weight of a child or family pet.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your pool cover needs to be completely secure and stable to prevent water from pooling on top of it. Even the slightest bit of water can cause accidents and safety hazards for children, so this is not something to take lightly. Over time, snow and rain can collect on top of a sagging pool cover. When installing your pool safety cover, you’ll need to ensure that you know the exact steps to secure it properly and that you take these steps every single time.
It’s also important to note that children could possibly undo a pool safety cover, so it’s crucial that they are monitored when they are near the pool to prevent this from happening. Although they are quite heavy, they are not locked down, so under the right circumstances, your child could still find their way in. Ideally, a pool cover should be paired with a pool fence for additional safety.
Pool safety cover
A pool safety cover, however, comes with heavy duty straps that attach to anchor brackets in the deck surface. For a cover to be considered a pool safety cover, it must be able to hold up at least 485 pounds per 5 square feet. Most adults and any child can walk across a properly secured safety pool cover as easily as a deck.
The problem with this has to do with “properly secured” The other issue is children can and have drowned on top of safety pool covers. Water can collect on top of pool covers from rain, snow or even condensation. When a child or pet gets on to a wet cover their weight puts them at the low point of the cover. Water will always seek the low point and the cover is very slippery. Children can drown in as little as two inches of water.
Pool fences are ideal because they are very secure, and they are easy to open and close. Pool covers take time to secure and un-secure, so they can be quite inconvenient. This often leads to accidents, because people don’t want to take the time to secure the pool cover. This is why it’s crucial to install a pool fence when building your pool, particularly if you have children.
Tips for pool safety
Your pool fence should always be latched to prevent children from getting in and out of the pool unsupervised. Pool fences should also be at least five feet high and made from a secure material to prevent damage. Children should not be able to climb the pool fence or easily damage it, and the fence should be an appropriate distance from the pool as well. Ideally, the fence should prevent large amounts of water from getting out of the pool area, as this could also cause slippage and be dangerous for children.
Regardless of what safety measures you decide to take with your pool, it’s important that children are always supervised when they are in or around the pool. Even if you think your child is responsible, accidents do happen, and it’s important that an adult is around to reduce the likelihood of someone getting injured. It’s also very important to take extra time to completely secure both your pool fence and your pool cover. Although this can be inconvenient, it’s absolutely worth the extra time it takes to make sure your little ones are safe.
Talk to a pool safety specialist about installing a pool cover and fence for your pool. It’s important that both are fitted to the size and shape of your pool for safety. Custom designs are available for both pool covers and pool fences, and they come in many different materials as well for durability. Consult an expert about keeping your children safe by the pool as summer approaches.
Cover Versus Fence Pool safety
Cover Versus Fence Pool safety covers must be properly secured to be effective. Improperly secured or unsecured pool covers are as much of a danger as all another type of pool covers. A pool safety cover must be intentionally secured, but a pool fence should have a gate that automatically closes and latches. A fence needs to be closed properly to be effective and this only takes five seconds. A pool safety cover takes time to secure properly. If a person wants to just run into the house to get a drink or use the bathroom, a pool cover can become a liability because of the time it takes to secure the cover to the deck.
Children can drown in just the couple of minutes it takes to run into a house. If the pool cover is left open, everyone has access to the pool. On the other hand, with a pool fence, keeping a child away from the pool while the adult goes into the house can be quickly done by taking the child outside the fence and locking the gate. Safety pool covers can be undone by children. They do not have locks on them so there is the possibility of a child undoing a corner and slipping into the pool. All pool fences can be locked so a child cannot get in. A pool safety cover is good for secondary protection against accidental drowning but the primary safety product for homes with children should always be a pool fence.
Do you need a pool fence?