Swimming Pool Safety Barriers
Swimming pools offer countless opportunities for making memories and can be one of the best parts of a home — but they can also be one of the most dangerous. Kids are the primary concern, as drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children in the United States, but pets and adults also need to be kept safe from the dangers of a pool. A small slip on ice or a pool party that gets a little out of hand can all create threats for poolgoers, whether they’re swimming or simply in the area.
If you have a pool, you also have a responsibility to create a safe environment for everyone in the vicinity. Some of the best ways to add safety to a pool is to use swimming pool safety barriers. No matter what type of pool you have, barriers can add safety and peace of mind. You may even want to combine multiple types of barriers for better protection. Let’s go over the different types of pool safety barriers and how to choose the right one for your pool.
Importance of Safety Barriers
Pool safety barriers create a clear blockade to keep kids, pets and adults out of the water. They might lie overtop the water, like covers and nets, or they can go around the entire pool area, as fences do. Either way, they create a physical barrier that offers protection regardless of who’s around.
It only takes a second for a child or pet to slip into the water, and simply “keeping an eye out” isn’t always effective or practical. If you have kids, you know how easy it is to lose sight of them.
A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study found that over half of drowning reports were attributed to a gap in adult supervision, including losing contact or knowledge of the child’s whereabouts. Inground and aboveground pools had similar incident rates, and the majority of incidents, 71%, occurred in residential pools. Simply put, many varied factors are involved, and barriers can help protect against the unexpected.
Barriers stay in place until you’re ready to use the pool. Even if you don’t personally have young kids or pets that could fall in, barriers can protect those around you, like the curious neighbor kid, your visiting nephew or a stray dog. If you ever have gatherings at your home, a safety barrier can protect your family and friends’ children, along with people with certain disabilities. And if your gatherings get a little wild, safety barriers can help keep inebriated guests out of the water, too. In many jurisdictions, barriers are legally required.
Overall, swimming pool safety barriers play a vital role in creating safer environments for everyone — both inside and out of your household.
How to Choose a Safety Barrier
Safety barriers come in several forms, and getting the right product for your pool is essential. They need to offer the right kind of protection and be made with dependable materials — safety products are never the place to cut corners.
When choosing a barrier, be sure to look for a reliable provider and know what level of protection you need. A child-free, pet-free home might be well-served with a simple net, but a family with kids that frequently hosts neighborhood parties would probably benefit more from a sturdy fence and cover. Knowing your needs can help you choose between pool fences vs. pool covers and nets, since they accomplish different purposes.
Other considerations include:
- The seller: Look for a reliable seller with a solid track record and a warranty.
- Your yard’s setup: Of course, your barrier needs to work with the configuration of your pool and yard.
- Personal preference: Fences come in different aesthetic styles, and some barriers are easier to remove and attach than others.
Let’s go over how the different types of safety barriers compare.
Pool Safety Covers
Pool safety covers stretch taut over inground pools by attaching to various points around the edge of the pool. These are available in mesh and fully solid materials. Mesh covers allow for drainage of rainwater and melting snow through the tiny holes in the material, but solid pool covers should have a drainage section in the middle to avoid settling water, which can cause the cover to sag and reduce its safety.
The benefits of a swimming pool safety cover include:
- Providing a safety barrier to catch people and pets that could fall into the water.
- Catching toys, leaves and other items that might otherwise land in the pool.
- Serving as a winter cover, making spring pool openings easier
- Inhibiting algae growth.
- Preventing water loss through evaporation.
Pool covers have a few drawbacks as well. They:
- Work for inground pools only, and not aboveground.
- Need to be reattached between uses.
- Can be harder to install when made of solid materials due to the heavier weight.
Pool Safety Nets
Pool safety nets are similar to covers in that they stretch taut over the surface of the water, but there are gaps in between the threads, making them lightweight and easy to work with. The nets can still catch kids, pets and toys, but they’re not as helpful for pool maintenance benefits, like keeping leaves out of the water or preventing evaporation.
Swimming pool safety nets are:
- The easiest barrier to install.
- Compatible with both inground and aboveground pools.
- Easy to trim and customize to fit your pool’s shape.
Of course, they have some drawbacks, as well. Safety nets:
- Don’t prevent algae growth, precipitation or the collection of dirt and leaves.
- Need to be reattached between uses.
- Can allow smaller toys through the gaps.
Pool Safety Fences
Safety fences are a more permanent and hands-off type of barrier, most commonly used to surround inground pools and their decks. They can offer a sleek, professional look, keeping kids and pets out of the entire pool area while allowing quick access for adults. With a safety fence, you can also add a gate alarm to provide an audible signal when someone opens the gate — great for security and safety. Our safety fences are modular, so you can set up the 12-foot sections around any shape.
When comparing barriers, it might be tempting to compare pool safety covers vs. fences. Keep in mind that since one encloses the entire pool area and the other covers the water’s surface, they can both play different roles in a complete pool safety solution.
Some pros of safety fences include:
- An attractive, customizable design.
- Functioning as a deterrent against theft and trespassing.
- Optional gate alarms to add an audible signal upon entry.
- Self-closing gates for extra security.
- Working well in all climates, regardless of debris such as leaves or snow.
As for their disadvantages, safety fences:
- Don’t cover the surface of the water.
- Require a more involved installation process.
Buying Safety Barriers From a Trusted Manufacturer
Remember, safety barriers should always come from trustworthy sources. Here at SPQ Brands, our WaterWarden safety barriers are built to last and protect, with applicable certifications and dependable designs. When it comes to keeping your pool and your family, friends and pets safe, safety barriers are a must-have.
For a complete pool safety solution, be sure to check out PoolEye pool alarms and YardGard gate alarms.
Learn more about our pool safety barriers online, and reach out to us with any questions. We’re happy to help you find the perfect solution for your pool!