While swimming pools offer virtually unlimited opportunities for pleasure, they also have the potential for serious injury and even death. And the full dangers that pools pose may be underestimated by many homeowners.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the primary source of deaths for boys under age five. Tom Dankel, vice president of Aquamatic Pool Cover Systems and a member of the National Swimming Pool Foundation and the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, is familiar with the potential dangers of pools. “It could be in a river, lake or ocean, but a big percentage is in a swimming pool,” he says. “Even though pools are fenced, kids can sometimes get in.”
“A pool cover is essential,” Dankel says. “It might be considered the primary barrier, because it is safety you can see.” The cover’s efficiency is in the mechanism. Aquamatic’s patented Hydramatic mechanism is dual-driven and self-adjusting—one motor opens the cover, another one closes it—and remote electric power for greater security. “Safety is paramount, so the products and protocol used in manufacturing are of the highest quality,” Dankel says. “People are buying pool covers for the peace of mind.” aquamatic.com
“Fencing is an added layer of protection,” says LeeAnn Donaton-Pesta, president and CEO of Loop-Loc Swimming Pool Products. While safety covers are extremely important, she highly recommends adding fencing, and more. “We try to recommend two to three added layers of protection after the cover is removed in the spring,” Donaton-Pesta says. Her company, Loop-Loc, offers Baby-Loc, a removable fence system, with a self-closing self-latching gate. Other safety measures are door alarms and alarms when anyone goes into the pool. Loop-Loc also offers a safety cover that is advertised with Bubbles, an actual elephant, standing atop its tight-fitting mesh cover to show, as she says, “the strength, quality and commitment of Loop-Loc to keep pools safe.”
The backyard of Donaton-Pesta’s home in Long Island, New York, has an enviably spacious pool, 18 feet by 36 feet. Does she do laps? Donaton-Pesta laughs. “I say I’m going to do laps,” she says, “but I like to lounge and float.” looploc.com
When aesthetics are top of the list, pool fencing companies have developed options. One is Aquaview Fencing, which offers a sleekly elegant clear-glass safety fence, allowing an unobstructed view of the pool and surrounding areas.
“We’re committed to enhancing backyard pool safety and preventing accidental drowning deaths,” says Jordan Goodman, founder and CEO. Aquaview’s custom glass pool fences and glass railing systems are effective and modern, built with sophisticated engineering to meet pool fencing safety codes, Goodman says. “And they’re beautiful.” aquaviewfencing.com
Scott Petty, product manager of Pumps and Filters at Hayward Pool Products, understands both the joys and the rigors of pool ownership. “Pools are somewhat analogous to cars,” Petty says. “You can enjoy them, but you need to know how to use them.”
A lot of people don’t think deeply about the pump, Petty says: “It’s not always top of the mind, but it’s very important for safety.” Carrying water for filtering and heating is more than a water-quality issue; it’s imperative that the pump itself doesn’t create a hazard. The Hayward EcoStar SVRS does its work but also helps mitigate the danger of suction entrapment—while also saving energy. As an ENERGY STAR approved product, the EcoStar SVRS—a variable-speed pump—is often available for rebates. hayward.com