by John Galcius, March 11, 2009
1) Access. Make sure all gates leading to the pool are in working order. Self closing gates should have working springs, alarms, and should close securely. If possible, lock all gates that lead to pool area. Anything near the fence that could be used to climb over the fence should be removed and stored elsewhere.
2) Pool Deck. Many pool accidents happen before the swimmer even goes into the pool. Look for toe stubbers like pool cover anchors, uneven deck sections, and missing or broken pool skimmer lids. These should be repaired at once. Also, pool toys and cleaning equipment and other items should all be stored away from the pools edge so they are not tripping hazards. Remember; Toys attract small children. Keep them stashed when not in use.
3) Chemicals. Keep all swimming pool chemicals away from children and animals. Make sure you keep your pool chemicals dry, and stored out of the weather. Never mix pool chemicals together. Always follow directions on labels. If you need to dispose of pool chemicals, call your local fire department non emergency number, or municipality. They can guide you in the proper disposal of unwanted pool chemicals.
4) Telephone. Every pool MUST have a telephone nearby. If anything was to happen, and you have to call for help, the last thing you want to do is look for a phone. Always have a phone on the pool deck with you, and always know the correct address of the swimming pool before there is an emergency.
5) Equipment. All of your equipment must be in good, working order. Filter pumps, cleaner pumps and all other filtration and sanitation equipment should be inspected and repaired if necessary. Make sure all metal components are bonded together with a common ground wire. Check diving boards and ladders and handrails for looseness or signs of wear.
6) Alarms. Every pool should have a pool and gate alarm. Pool and gate alarms save countless lives every year and are required in many jurisdictions for good reason. Small children are crafty, and will try anything to get to the toys and places they like. For a relatively small investment the peace of mind is priceless.
7) Environment. Know what is around your pool. Are there mischievous kids or teenagers in the neighborhood? Are pool hoppers a possibility? See “Pool Alarms” above. Remember, you are responsible for what happens in your pool, which courts define as an "attractive nuisance" even if you are not at home. Ask neighbors to keep an eye out.
8) Safety Equipment. Make sure you have lifesaving equipment in the pool area. Throw buoys, Shepherd's Crook (body hook) approved floatation devices can all save lives.
For more information on Pool Safety, see the American Pool & Spa Institute's "Layers of Protection" . Check your pool out BEFORE the spring season hits, and make sure an accident doesn't destroy your pool enjoyment.