As springtime blossoms and the weather quickly warms up, many residents across the Phoenix area are looking forward to lazy days spent by the pool. However, ensuring a safe and enjoyable swimming season requires anything but laziness—there are several steps that residential and commercial pool owners alike must take in order to prepare their pools for summer. Here are five critical steps for minimizing the risk of drowning and making sure that everyone using your pool will be safe and comfortable:
1.) Review state and local laws governing pool barriers and verify that your pool fences and gates are legally compliant, in sound condition, and functioning properly. In recognition of the fact that proper pool barriers are among the most effective safeguards against drowning, Arizona law imposes specific requirements on fences and gates. For example, fences must be at least five feet high and free of any openings through which an object four inches or more in diameter could pass, while gates must be self-closing and have self-latching mechanisms situated at least 54 inches above the ground. As you prepare your pool for peak swimming season, review state law and any city ordinances to ensure that your pool barriers are in compliance.
If you need to install new fences and gates to secure your pool area, consider choosing wrought iron. Due to its natural durability, wrought iron provides a stronger barrier against unauthorized entry than alternative materials, such as wood and aluminum. As an added benefit, wrought iron has a timeless sense of elegance and can easily be customized to suit the style of any property!
2.) Enroll children and other inexperienced swimmers in swimming lessons. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is generally safe for kids to start taking swimming lessons as early as age one. In fact, studies indicate that preschool-aged children who have taken swimming lessons face a reduced risk of drowning. In addition to ensuring that your kids know how to stay afloat in the water, verify that any adults who will be supervising them are also competent swimmers and have taken first-aid and CPR classes.
3.) Check your pool’s chemistry. As most pool owners know, keeping the water’s chemical levels within proper range is essential to a safe and comfortable swimming experience. In general, your pool’s pH should fall between 7.4 and 7.6, alkalinity should be between 100 and 150 parts per million (ppm), and calcium hardness should range from 200 to 275 ppm.
4.) Equip your pool area with life-saving devices, such as life rings or shepherd’s hooks, which can be used to help a struggling swimmer out of the water. Ensure that this equipment is placed near the pool in a visible spot.
5.) Maintain the landscaping surrounding the pool in order to reduce the amount of debris that ends up in the water. Additionally, move any cacti or other prickly desert plants out of the pool area, as their thorns pose a hazard to bare feet and can puncture inflatable pool toys.
As you take the necessary precautions for a safe and enjoyable pool season, remember that there is no substitute for constant adult supervision when it comes to preventing drowning and other water-related accidents! Whenever children are near the water, a responsible adult should be within arm’s reach.
If your getting-ready-for-pool-season plans involve repairing or replacing your pool fences or gates, contact the professionals at DCS Pool Barriers today! We design, manufacture, and install premium-quality wrought iron pool barriers and will ensure that they are compliant with state and local laws, functioning properly for maximum safety, and complementary to the style of your property. Contact us at 623-825-7700 today to request a free estimate!