Pool Deck Safety Tips
Are you a homeowner who is looking to install an aboveground pool? If you are, you will find that you have a number of different options. One popular option is that of attaching a swimming pool to a home deck. As nice, convenient, and attractive as this may look, it is important to familiarize yourself with the dangers. When you are well informed, you can better protect yourself. And, protection is key to keeping your pool a fun and safe place to be this summer.
As previously stated some pool owners simply just install their aboveground swimming pool right next to their deck. Other homeowners take an extra step and continue to build their deck around their pool. Whichever approach you decide to take, there are a number of pool safety steps that you will want to implement. These steps, a few of which are outlined below, can help to keep the children in your home safe and reduce your liability in the event of a pool accident.
If the pool deck you will be using is directly attached to your home, it is likely that the entrance to that deck is a sliding glass door. Sliding glass doors are convenient, but they also make it easier for accidents to occur. Many children know how to open sliding glass doors, even those that are supposed to be or are locked. Sleepwalkers can easily push right through a door that is open, knocking down the screen. Unfortunately, nighttime pool accidents have a higher risk of resulting in fatalities. This is because you are less likely to be alerted to a problem when you are fast asleep.
So, what should you do? While your first thought may be to block off your sliding glass door, this can also be risky as well. In the event of a fire or another emergency, you will all exits to your home easily accessible. For that reason, you may want to refrain from jamming the door shut with piece of wood. Instead, install a small fence or gate immediately around your pool. In this case, you would have to enter the deck from your sliding glass door and then open another gate to get to the pool. This gate should be equipped with a small latch that is out of the reach of small children.
Other access points should also be examined as well. For example, many slightly elevated decks also have a set of stairs that often lead to the yard. These stairs should be equipped with a latching gate at the top. Although the children in your home are more likely to enter the pool from your sliding glass door, it is also important to be concerned about neighborhood kids or even adults looking to enjoy a midnight swim in your pool.
If the above mentioned steps sound like a lot of work, there is another approach that you can take. This step is nice, as it allows you to install your aboveground pool a safe distance away from your home, but still have a deck. This approach involves purchasing a pool with an aluminum deck and fence kit. In fact, you can also build a standalone deck surrounding your swimming pool. Just make sure it has railings and that the stairway to your pool has a latching gate.
Most importantly, supervision is a must. When a swimming pool is easy to access, like when located off a home deck, there is a higher risk of pool related accidents. If you are a parent with children in the home, you will not only want to watch and monitor your children when they are swimming, but all the time. If you find a young child missing, the pool is the first place that you should look. Finally, discuss pool safety with your children, even toddlers and preschoolers. Set rules on pool use and enforce them regularly.