May is National Water Safety Month. Since it’s May, this is a good time to focus on how every member of your family can become water competent. This means being smart about water. You also must know how to help others in the water and have strong swimming skills.
Water competency means being able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim, and then get out of the water safely.
What is Water Safety Month?
Water Safety Month actually began as a week in 2003. Since then, it has grown into an annual month-long event supported by thousands of aquatics facilities, organizations, retailers, and professionals all of which provide educational programs, public service announcements, and promotions. They also distributed safety-themed materials with the goal of preventing water-related fatalities, illnesses and injuries.
There is now an International Water Safety Day on May 15th to spread awareness about drowning as a global issue.
The Longfellow’s WHALE Tales Program makes learning about water safety fun for kids. The program offers short, educational videos about why it’s important to swim in pairs and other tips on water safety.
Pool Fencing Installation
So, to keep your loved ones safe throughout the year when around swimming pool and spa water, work with a pool fence professional. We do pool safety fencing installation throughout Murrieta, Temecula, and other areas of Riverside County as well as San Diego County.
The weather is finally changing here in Murrieta, and we couldn’t be happier to see 90-degree forecasts for the upcoming weekend. Throughout the Temecula Valley, homeowners are anxiously awaiting the sunshine to the a dip in their swimming pools and get some relief from the cabin fever we’ve all been feeling during this mandate to shelter in place during COVID-19.
Eager to get out and enjoy our backyard oasis, we don’t want to forget about some very important pool safety measures that can keep our loved ones safe. Here are some tips to get your pool ready for a safe season of water fun.
Clean the Pool Deck
Pool decking safety may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to pool safety. However, it is important for many reasons. Any debris or pools left on the pool deck can cause someone to trip and fall, potentially even into the swimming pool.
It is good to make it a habit to put all pool toys away in a storage shed when not in use. Also, we recommend washing the decking area frequently, especially after all the rain here to sealer the debris.
Install Removable Pool Fencing and Self-Latching Pool Gate
A removable pool fence with a self-latching gate can help increase pool safety while minimizing the risk of drowning. It encloses the entire pool area, ensuring that children and pets cannot get to the swimming pool when you’re not there.
Making it removable means you can take it down when the pool is in use and you are there to monitor who is in the pool. Otherwise, the pool safety fence can be an affordable way to reduce risk.
Add a Pool Safety Cover or Safety Net
In terms of pool safety tips, two additional layers of protection include adding a pool safety cover or pool safety net. Both are strong enough to walk on, durable for many pool seasons, and lower the risk of drowning.
Consider Other Pool Safety Devices
Other pool safety devices are also being introduced to provide more alerts, including buoy motion detectors that float in your pool and detect any water movement. If it detects movement, an alarm will sound.
You can also add lighting, including LED lights that are energy efficient, add some color and entertainment, and light up your pool so you can see what’s in the pool at all times.
Clean Pool Tiles
Cleaning pool tiles of algae, debris, and suntan lotion residue can keep these tiles from becoming slick, which would otherwise make them hard to grip if someone was trying to pull themselves out of the pool and to safety.
Maintain Chemical Balance in Pool Water
If the chemicals in your swimming pool water become unbalanced, the water can become hazardous to those swimming in it.
Test the chemical balance in your pool water weekly, and add chemicals as needed. Or, rely on a pool professional to treat your water to ensure it is free of algae, bacteria, dirt, and organic matter.
Make Rules and Be Vigilant
While you don’t have to post signs like you would see at a hotel swimming pool, it’s important to have guidelines and help everyone in the family understand how to stay safe when they are in and around the pool.
Rules might be things like “no running on the pool deck” and “no swimming without an adult present.” As one of your most important pool safety tips, discuss why these rules are important.
As a parent, be vigilant about pool safety by never turning your back on anyone in the swimming pool. Always make sure there is an adult present who is paying attention to those who are in the pool.
If you or anyone in your family is afraid of the water, it is important to find ways to overcome that fear. Others may not realize a person has that fear and jokingly toss them in a backyard not knowing they are are afraid of the water and can’t swim.
There are many ways to overcome the fear of water while also ensuring good pool safety precautions to protect that person and anyone else that may fear water or not know how to swim.
First, you need to address the anxiety and help establish trust with the person to make sure they know you are concerned about their fear. It doesn’t help to tell them “there is nothing to be afraid of.”
Take it slow with one step at a time in terms of calming them down, having them approach the water, and then encouraging them to be in the water. Help by showing them what to do and that they will be okay when they do the same. Patience is the key to helping build that trust and overcome the fear of water.
Overcome Fear of Swimming
Swimming.org is a good source for how to help someone overcome their fear of swimming. Each step involves getting more comfortable with water like standing in it, splashing water on your face, and holding your breath underwater. You can also hold the side of the pool and practice your kicking.
From there, you can learn to float when you are ready. This builds confidence, helps lower the fear of water, and helps add water safety to the process. This is an important step that others can help with, including an adult or swim instructor.
It’s not just children that may need to overcome their fear of swimming. Adults are also susceptible to fear of water and swimming. The same need to establish trust, take it slow, and learn to float are imperative for adults. It may take longer for an adult to overcome their fears, so patience is important, because they have had many more years to live with that fear.
Maintain Water Safety
Whether you know how to swim, are just learning, or you are overcoming your fear of water, there are some water safety tips to keep in mind.
Always have an adult who can swim nearby if a novice swimmer is the in water. Have a swim buddy who can rescue you should anything go wrong. Never leave any child or non-swimmer unattended. Children and inexperienced swimmers should wear life jackets, but don’t use these as a substitute for supervision.
Pool Safety Measures
Here are some pool safety measures to keep all non-swimmers or new swimmers safe regardless if they are children or adults:
Install removable four-foot or five-foot pool fencing with self-closing, self-latching gates that encompasses and encloses the entire pool area.
Use pool alarms.
Consider a safety cover or safety net if you don’t want to install a pool safety fence.
Remove any objects that provide access to the pool area.
Remove toys from pool area after use to not attract children back to that area.
Other tips include:
Stay within arm’s reach when supervising children in the pool.
Remove all distractions, such as cell phone viewing and texting, while supervising children and non-swimming adults.
Have safety equipment nearby, including a pole, life jackets, life ring, and First Aid kit. Have emergency phone numbers nearby.
Contact Us Now
We’re here to help with free quotes on pool safety fencing for your home, daycare business, or rentals. We also offer free quotes on pool safety covers and pool safety nets.
In 2018, the 1990s pool safety legislation was finally updated. The California Residential Pool Safety Code is known as the California Pool Safety Act 2018. In 2019, further regulations were required for new pools and permitted renovations.
New Residential Pool Regulations
In the California Residential Pool Safety Code, all new pools and permitted renovations must have at least two additional safety features.
These safety feature options include an enclosure that isolates the pool or spa from the home; a mesh safety fence that isolates the pool or spa (ASTM F2286-05); safety pool cover or automatic cover (ASTM F1346-91); door or gate alarms (UL 2017); door closing and latching systems, with a latch that is at least 54″ above floor; and pool alarms that adhere to ASTM F2208 standards.
Selling Your California Pool Home
Sellers in California are not required to add these safety features to their swimming pool or home before selling it. However, a buyer may request that you do because a typical home and pool inspection report will reference the need to add safety features.
California Pool Fencing Codes
Pool fences in California need to be at least five feet tall. They need to have gaps between fence slats of four inches or less along with gaps of two inches or less under the fence. Also, pool fence gates must be self-closing and self-latching.
The pool fencing can be three-sided and attached to the house or other structure. However, there would still need to be other safety features.
Mesh safety fences can meet safety requirements when they have self-closing gates. They meet the height and gap requirements plus can connect to walls or perimeter fences.
California Pool Alarm Codes
For the second required safety feature for California pools, many homeowners choose to secure doors that lead to the pool area
In addition to high-quality removable mesh pool fences, Poolguard offers alarms like their DAPT door alarms. PoolGuard also offers its PGRM-2 pool alarms, which sounds an alarm at the pool and in the house if anything over 18 pounds falls in the pool.
California Pool Drain Code
In 2002, the VGB Pool and Spa Safety Act became law, which meant that new pools and spas had to install dual main drain systems. These safer main drain covers help reduce the risk of suction entrapment that previous pool drains caused.
Unlike commercial and public pools, California residential pools do not need to install dual main drain systems. But, they must replace older anti-vortex main drain covers with new VGB compliant anti-entrapment suction outlet covers or safety drain covers.
How to Adhere to New Residential Pool Safety Laws
If your pool was built before 2007, you do not have to add more safety to your pool. However, you are still responsible for maintaining your fence and gates.
When you decide to renovate that pool, then you must adhere to the new laws about pool safety. If your pool was built after 2007, two drowning prevention or safety features are required and should have been installed.
Get a Free Quote
At SoCal Pool Fences, we’re here to ensure you have all the pool safety features you need. We serve Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore and the rest of Riverside County as well as install pool fencing and pool safety covers weekly throughout San Diego County.
Having a swimming pool is a great family activity that gets everyone outdoors and off their games. In Southern California towns like Temecula and Murrieta as well as San Diego, many homes have in-ground swimming pools and spas to get the most out of the beautiful weather.
The Other Side of Pools and Spas
However, there is another side to swimming pools that has created some horrible memories for some families. And, that side involves drownings. According to Riverside County government research, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional or accidental injury-related death for children, ages 1-4, in Riverside County. Of all drowning or near-drowning incidents, 86% are in backyard pools or spas.
Drowning is a quiet event. There doesn’t have to be splashing or screaming. And, a child can slip into a swimming pool in a matter of seconds. A child can lose consciousness in 30 seconds or less. They can also have irreversible brain damage after just four to six minutes submerged in water. Even if they survive a drowning, a child may have severe brain damage that requires life-long medical care.
In Riverside County and San Diego County, there have been increases in reported child drownings related to swimming pools and spas in the last few years. Even on a national basis, there has been an increase in drownings.
These are horrible things to think about. As parents, the team at SoCal Pool Fences cannot imagine the pain and grief associated with such a tragic event.
Ways to Avoid Drowning
To help you reduce the risk of drowning, there are many things you can do as a parent.
Add Layers of Protection
The first is to put more layers of protection between your kids and the swimming pool area.
These layers include non-climbable fencing that as four or five feet high. The fencing should have a fence gate that is self-closing and self-latching.
Other protective layers include pool security cover. These are anchored to the pool decking. These pool covers are not the thin blue covers that only serve to add warmth to the water or keep leaves out.
Finally, all windows and doors that face the pool area or lead to that part of your yard should have door and window alarms. These alarms go off when these doors or windows are opened.
Health and Safety Code Requirements
For those of you in California, these layers of protection became law in 2018. Here’s what the Health and Safety Code says:
Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
(a) Except as provided in Section 115925, when a building permit is issued for the construction of a new swimming pool or spa or the remodeling of an existing swimming pool or spa at a private single-family home, the respective swimming pool or spa shall be equipped with at least two of the following seven drowning prevention safety features:
(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.
(2) Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.
(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.
(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”
(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.
(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
(b) Before the issuance of a final approval for the completion of permitted construction or remodeling work, the local building code official shall inspect the drowning safety prevention features required by this section and, if no violations are found, shall give final approval.
At SoCal Pool Fences, all of our pool protection products, including our removable pool fences, pool gates, security covers, and alarms, meet all of these California requirements.
Other Preventative Measures to Avoid Drowning
One of the most important pool safety tips for parents is to never leave children alone with water like a swimming pool or pool. Children see water as fun and have a difficult time understanding the risks involved.
Always maintain some type of supervision around the pool and spa area if children are present. If you are hosting an event, have an adult who will stay and water the water all the time.
Even if you have these other layers of protection, don’t rely on them to replace this adult supervision. Also, don’t assume your child isn’t at risk of drowning because they’ve taken swim lessons.
Be Prepared for Drownings
Even with all the safety measures you may put in place, another one of our pool safety tips for parents is to prepare for the fact that a drowning could happen.
To be prepared, learn CPR and first aid. Also, if you don’t know how to swim, take lessons and learn the necessary rescue techniques. Keep rescue equipment near your swimming pool to help. Be sure to have emergency phone numbers nearby should you need that assistance.
Water and Pool Safety Organizations
Here are some good resources to have for further pool safety tips for parents both for Riverside County and nationally:
Riverside County Children’s Injury Prevention Network: (800) 774-7237
Riverside County Injury Prevention Services: (951) 358-7171
Riverside County Building & Safety Department: (951) 955-1800
Your dog or cat is not just a pet. They are a family member to most of us. These fuzzy children are so important to us that, like our own kids, we want to make sure they are happy and safe in and around the house. That includes pets and pool safety.While you may have seen some pretty funny videos online of dogs enjoying the pool slide while their owners are at work, the reality is that many dogs and cats don’t know how to swim. This has led to many drownings that devastate the families who have lost their fur babies.
Tips For Pets and Pool Safety
There are many ways to keep your pets safe and let them still enjoy the pool just as much as you do. Here are some tips to alleviate your pets and pool safety concerns.
Learn Animal CPR
CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) is not just a medical procedure that can save people who have drowned. It can help dogs and cats, too. You can even get certified in animal CPR just as you would for human CPR.
When it comes to pets and pool safety, one of the biggest challenges for dogs and cats who are typically good at swimming is finding a way out of the swimming pool.
You can install steps or water ramps that help dogs find an easy exit out of the pool.
Install Removable Pool Fencing or Pool Cover
There are many types of fencing you can install around your swimming pool to keep your pets out of this high-risk area when you are not around to supervise them.
At SoCal Pool Fences, we offer removable pool fencing that is four or five feet high. Because it’s made from a durable mesh, your pets cannot squeeze through like they might do with a wrought iron fence.
We can also install custom pet pool fences as seen in the pictures within this post. These vary from two feet for small dogs up to five feet for larger breeds.
Also, pool security covers are strong and can withhold the weight of your pets. This is a good alternative should you not want to install a removable pool safety fence.
Get Your Pets Some Swimming Lessons
Another tip for pets and pool safety is that you shouldn’t assume your dog knows how to swim even if the doggy paddle was named after them.
There are organizations that teach pets how to swim. Or, you can teach them yourself. Here is a good article that gives you the step-by-step process to teach your dog how to swim.
Put a Life Jacket on Your Pet
For small dogs, you might want to consider using a life jacket when they are outside near the swimming pool.
There are life jackets made just for dogs as well as cats. I can’t imagine trying to get a life jacket on a cat, but if you can, then it’s pretty amazing!
In case your pet does end up in the pool and they need help, it would be good to have some supplies and a plan of action so you can help them.
You can purchase a pet First-Aid kit, which may include a thermal blanket to help them from going into shock. If it doesn’t include a thermal blanket, be sure to have one on hand.
Have the number and address of the nearest emergency pet clinic or vet’s office should you need to get your pet additional medical assistance.
Keep Your Pets Safe
Keeping your pet safe near a swimming pool is not difficult when you know these pool safety tips for pets. You want your pet to enjoy the pool just like the rest of the family, but you also want to have peace of mind that they will be safe.
Your backyard is your oasis. There’s nothing like enjoying a swim in your pool or a soak in your spa, taking in the best weather here in Murrieta and the surrounding areas like Temecula, Hemet, Menifee and Lake Elsinore. With such stunning views from your yard, it may seem like the last thing you’d want to do is install a removable pool fence.
However, we have three reasons why you should add this important safety feature to your swimming pool:
Install a removable pool fence to keep your children safe.
This past summer, there was an increase in the number of children under the age of 15 who fatally drowned in a U.S. pool or spa. At least 150 children in that age bracket died in U.S. pools and spas just over this summer, according to the USA Swimming Foundation and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which collaborate in CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign.
Even in our area, there are stories about near drownings and fatal drownings. This drowning story involved a toddler in Winchester, nearby to Murrieta.
No one wants to face something so tragic, especially when drowning is entirely preventable. The solution is a removable pool fence, which uses a gate with automatic locking mechanism that keeps kids away from the swimming pool.
While it’s not a replacement for keeping watch all the time, this type of pool safety device reduces children’s ability to get in the pool. This also makes it an ideal solution if you host swim parties or have other children at your house.
Install a removable pool fence to protect your pets.
Pets can also be at risk around a swimming pool, including dogs that are often good at swimming. The last thing you want to do is worry about your pets’ safety should you leave them in the backyard with a swimming pool.
To keep all your fuzzy family members safe, a heavy-duty removable mesh fence is the best solution. The high-quality fencing materials are made to withstand weight and pressure so even large animals can be blocked from entering a pool area.
Install a removable pool fence to secure your business.
If you run a business from your home like a daycare or home school or even rent out your property or as a vacation unit through a site like Airbnb, then you will need to have a pool safety fence.
Certain counties throughout Southern California, including Riverside County, make it a requirement. Any business that may involve children and where there is a yard with a pool, spa, or other water feature must have pool safety fencing as well las a pool alarm on doors that lead to these water features.
Get a Free Pool Fence Quote
Leave it to the professionals at SoCal Pool Fences to install a removable pool fence. We offer free quotes and are right here in the Temecula Valley within minutes of all the surrounding communities.
That means a quick estimate and installation process so you can have peace of mind that everyone will be safe in your backyard.