FENCES, LOCKS, LATCHES, COVERS & ALARMS

  • 75% of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occur at swimming pools at a private residence.  Anyone who has cared for a toddler knows how fast young children can move. Toddlers are inquisitive and impulsive and lack a realistic sense of danger. These behaviors make swimming pools particularly hazardous for households with young children. Consumer Product Safety Commission 

            

  • Make sure there are 4 sided isolation fences which are  at least 4’ high with self closing and self latching gates that open out.  There should be upright bars no more than 4” apart. Eliminate handholds and footholds

  • It is not sufficient to have the house be one  side of the enclosure. If it is, get a temporary mesh fence which can be installed and removed when children aren’t present

 

  • Get locks for the gate and if it opens with a key, keep the key out of reach of children.  Double sided keyless locks for pool fences are available

 

  • Remove any furniture that a child could use to climb over a fence.

 

  • Never  leave the gate propped open

  • An Australian study found that in cases of drowning deaths where a barrier had been breached, 63% of victims entered through an open or unlocked gate

 

  • When the pool is not in use, remove toys that could be an attraction to young children

  • Do not have a pet or doggy door that leads directly to the pool area

 

  • Have a safety assessment of pools and fences done regularly. Backyard Lifeguards provides assessments

 

  • Install door alarms and child resistant locks

  • There are double sided keyless locks for pool fences

 

  • Install accidental immersion detection alarms in pools

 

  • Get wristband immersion alarms for young children

 

  • Use pool covers (but don’t rely on them)

 

  • Consider installing a pool safety net that is above the water and affixed at the sides

 

  • Remove ladders to above-ground pools when not in use

  • 17% of drownings at a private residence occur in above-ground pools

 

  • Make sure spas and hot tubs  and above-ground pools are fenced.and covered

 

  • Make sure the toilets in your house have latches to keep lids closed

 

  • Have locks on laundry rooms, bathrooms and other rooms where there is water

 

  • Empty inflatable pools as well as buckets or other containers of water

  • 9% of child drownings occur in portable pools

 

  • Ask neighbors and relatives to have safety assessments

 

  • Talk to caregivers, service people and others about being sure to close gates

Any questions or if you have additional information you think could be helpful to this page or drowning prevention in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Swim On Foundation.

   Click here to see  Consumer Product Safety Commission' "Safety  Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools"