Water Safety

water-img2Following the safety tips mentioned here can help make your pool or spa more safe and fun. While this list is in no way meant to be all inclusive, it covers some of the more common safety problems associated with swimming pools and spas.

Eastgate Pools & Spas wants you, your family, and friends to swim safely. It has always been our opinion that you are far safer in your pool than in your car out on the highway. There are millions of safe, problem-free swimming events every year in Greater Cincinnati alone, but we offer the following suggestions to make your experience even safer and carefree:

 

TIPS TO HELP KEEP YOUR POOL SAFE

Never allow anyone to dive into an aboveground pool. There are no aboveground pools that are classified as diving pools. Diving into shallow water can be fatal or cause permanent injury.

On inground pools, make sure that all pool users know where they are allowed to dive into your pool, if your pool is classified as a diving pool. If your pool is not designated as a diving pool, do not let ANYBODY dive into it. Make sure that everyone knows the proper diving techniques. Remember, the pool owner is responsible and liable for the safety of all pool users. If you have questions about whether your pool is classified as a diving pool, PLEASE ask!

Never use or work around the pool during a thunderstorm.

Keep a first aid kit in a location where both friends and family can easily find it.

Keep all electrical appliances away from the pool. These appliances should be kept far enough away to ensure that they cannot fall or accidentally be knocked into the pool. Eastgate strongly urges the use of Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI’s) on any outlets around the pool. GFI’s will shut the power off at the outlet in case of trouble.

Never swim alone, and if a non-swimmer is using the pool, make sure that they are closely supervised.

Follow all local codes on fencing. The laws vary, but a pool should always be fenced.

Avoid glass near the pool.

Never swim immediately after chemicals have been added. Follow manufacturer recommendations about appropriate wait times.

Keep appropriate safety devices on-hand, such as Shepherd’s Hooks and flotation rings.

Never run the pool’s filtration system off an extension cord.

Always use slides and diving boards as directed.

Never alter any of the safety features on a pool. All returns and intakes have covers that must remain in place.

Never mix chemicals together, and always read the manufacturer’s label for proper chemical usage.

Keep emergency phone numbers in a place where everyone can find them. Emergency phone number stickers can normally be obtained from your local fire department.

Always keep gates on fences locked, whether you are home or not. If using a combination lock, keep the combination secret from neighborhood kids. If using a keyed lock, keep control of the key. Never use a hiding place that everyone knows about.

Put a pool alarm on your pool. Alarms emit a VERY loud noise when someone enters your pool without your knowledge.

Put a contact alarm on sliding doors (they open almost silently) and regular doors. These can be found at your local hardware store and are very inexpensive. They are great for letting you know when someone from inside the house has gone out the door without your knowledge.

If your pool does not have a light for swimming after dark, get one! Lighting allows you to see what is going on in your pool. And they can be a lot of fun too. Some change colors and look really sharp at night.

If you have a service company coming to your home to work on the pool when nobody is home, NEVER leave the gate open or unlocked. Give them the combination or tell them where you have hidden the key. If you don’t want them to know your combination or where you keep the key, keep a separate lock on hand that you use only for such instances.

If your aboveground pool is equipped with a safety ladder, keep the entrance secured to limit access. Many simply flip up to deter access. Use a bicycle lock to make sure it does not slip down.

If you have an inground pool, switch to a winter safety cover! These look nicer than traditional water-bag winter covers that lay on the water. They stretch tight across the pool and most can hold hundreds and hundreds of pounds – entire families and their pets!

If you have a deck around your aboveground pool, put a self-closing gate on the steps leading up from the ground. When not in use, keep this gate locked.

Keep a vacuum pole near the pool and keep a brush or net already attached to it. The American Red Cross says to NEVER jump into a body of water where someone is struggling unless it is a small child. They can pull you under too. Use the pole and attached brush or net to give them something to grab and pull them to safety.

 

Spa Safety

The time you spend in your spa should be relaxing and enjoyable. But like many other things in life, there are certain precautions that you must take to ensure the safety of everyone who uses the spa. The following list is intended to be a starting point for the safe use of your spa. It is in no ways meant to be an all inclusive list.

SMALL CHILDREN/PREGNANT WOMEN Under no circumstances should small children or pregnant women use a spa without prior consultation with their physician. Exposing children or pregnant women to the hot water in a spa can cause severe medical problems. (The general rule of thumb in determining “small children” is ten years of age. Since this figure can vary, you should consult your doctor.)

Another very important reason to supervise children’s use of a spa is the risk of drowning. When supervision is not possible, the spa’s hard cover should be locked down.

MEDICAL PROBLEMS Persons suffering from heart disease, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, or other health problems should not use a spa without consulting their doctor. Failure to follow his or her advice could result in accidental drowning in the spa.

ALCOHOL & DRUG CONCERNS Though Hollywood likes to portray a romantic couple in a spa drinking wine, in real life this is an extremely dangerous practice that can result in drowning. Likewise, narcotics and drugs that cause sleepiness, drowsiness, or raise/lower blood pressure can have the same effect.

RISK OF BURNS Before entering your spa, always check the water temperature with a reliable thermometer. You should never enter the spa if the water temperature exceeds 104°F.

OVER EXPOSURE All good things must come to an end. As relaxing as your spa is, you must avoid staying in it too long, especially if you are using the spa by yourself. Overexposure to hot water can cause nausea, dizziness, and fainting. To be safe, do not use the spa for more than 10 to 15 minutes per session unless you lower the water temperature. If at all possible, do not use the spa alone.

SLIPPERY WHEN WET The acrylic surface of your spa is more than beautiful. It can also be extremely slippery. Extreme caution must be used when entering and exiting the spa. Also, always fully remove a spa cover when using the spa. And never alter or remove safety intake covers or skimmer covers when using your spa.

ELECTROCUTION In order to protect the users of your spa from electrocution, portable radios, T.V’s, and other electrical devices must be kept away from the spa’s water. Do not attempt to operate these devices while wet. All outlets around the spa should be G.F.C.I. protected. Also, never use your spa during an electrical storm.

SANITATION Change your water per retailer and manufacturer recommendation and keep chemical sanitizers at proper levels. Throw the old filter away and get a new one every year. Never mix non-compatible chemicals. Call and ask us for professional assistance if you have questions.

If you have additional safety questions, Eastgate Pools & Spas can get you the information that you need or if needed we will refer you to the proper safety experts.