8 Ways to Make Above Ground Pools Safer

There’s nothing quite like taking a dip in a swimming pool on a hot, summer day. If you, like many homeowners, are looking to turn your backyard into a luxurious getaway, you may consider installing a swimming pool in your yard. When selecting the best type of pool to buy, you may lean toward above-ground pools because they are safer. While it is true that above-ground pools are considered less dangerous than inground pools, safety measures should still be taken to improve the safety of these pools. 

Simple ways to make your above-ground pool safer include the following ideas:

  • Install pool fencing
  • Use a durable ladder
  • Install a pool alarm
  • Build a deck
  • Use pool covers
  • Drain the pool 
  • Move objects away from the pool
  • Install a high-quality above-ground pool

If you’re unsure how to utilize these ideas for improving your pool’s safety, read on! Today, we’ll explain in detail the top 8 ways to make above-ground pools safer for swimmers.

How to Make Above-Ground Pools Safer

When shopping for a swimming pool, you will likely hear the statement that above-ground pools are safer than inground pools. This is because above-ground pools have tall walls, making it difficult for young children to enter. Additionally, above-ground pools are typically not as deep as inground pools, although it is possible to construct a deep end in your above-ground pool.

According to the statistics of annual drowning rates, more children fall and drown in an inground pool than an above-ground pool. With that being said, above-ground pools can still be dangerous, especially when no safety precautions are taken.

There are a number of ways to make your above-ground pool safer for young children and adults alike. Below, we’ll take a look at the top ways to make above-ground pools safer.

1. Install Pool Fencing

Although you may think pool fencing is only for inground pools, fences can also be used for above-ground pools. Because many children drown when entering a pool unsupervised, a fence will prevent little ones from reaching the pool.

When installing a pool fence, make sure the railing encloses the entire pool area. This includes the pool deck and the ladder. In addition, you may install childproof locks on the gate to prevent children from entering the pool without supervision.

2. Use a Durable Pool Ladder with Locks

Many accidents occur when pool ladders are not properly secured. To ensure young children and adults are safe when entering and exiting the pool, use only a durable pool ladder with locks.

When selecting a pool ladder, there is a variety of ladders to choose from. While you may be most familiar with the simple A-frame ladders for pools, there is a number of ladders that include features for preventing unwanted access to the pool. Such features include a roll-guard, outer treads for locking with a padlock, self-closing gates, and even self-latching gates with lockable features.

When installing your pool ladder, make sure the ladder is properly secured and anchored to the pool. If the ladder is difficult for young children to reach, you may add steps inside the pool to make exiting easier.

3. Install a Pool Alarm

Although pool alarms should never replace adult supervision, they are a great tool to have if you’re worried about children entering the pool when you are not watching. The purpose of pool alarms is to detect motion either at the pool gate or in the pool water itself.

There is a large selection of pool alarms to choose from. While many pool alarms are designed for mounting on the pool or pool fence, some types can be put directly into the water. You may also consider using wearable pool detectors, which are worn by children to sound an alarm each time they enter the water.

4. Build a Deck

Not all pool accidents occur when children enter the water unsupervised. In fact, even children who are supervised and know how to swim may have difficulty getting out of the pool. Because swimming can make young children get easily tired, climbing out on the pool ladder can be a difficult task. Thus, you may consider building a deck around your above-ground pool.

Although a deck does not replace a secure, stable ladder, it provides an easy exit for young swimmers. If getting out of the water is still a challenge, you may create steps inside the pool to help swimmers reach the deck.

Keep in mind that a deck increases the risk of children falling in the water, as the pool will no longer have tall sides. For this reason, you should always install pool fencing around the entire pool area, including the deck.

5. Use Pool Covers

While pool covers are often thought of for pool maintenance only, they are excellent for keeping young swimmers out of the water. By covering up your pool, children won’t be tempted to enter the water. Even if they do, pool covers should prevent any devastating accidents from occurring.

Note that even with a pool cover, you should still install a fence around the pool, especially when using a floating pool cover. Although pool covers may prevent children from drowning, they can be a hazard if children get caught up in the material. Additionally, pool covers may collect rainwater, which once again presents the risk of drowning.

If you choose to use a pool cover, make sure it is always secured onto the pool. If a pool cover appears worn out or torn, replace it as soon as possible. Furthermore, you should never leave young children unsupervised when around the pool. Even during the winter, a pool’s cover may be a safety hazard to young children.

6. Drain the Pool When Not in Use

While it isn’t necessary to drain the pool after every use, you may consider draining it after extended periods of not using it. This will not only make your pool safer, but it may extend the lifespan of your pool’s equipment.

If you plan on not using your pool for only a few days, consider using a pool cover instead. Pool covers should always be placed over pools when not in use. As previously mentioned, make sure the cover is secure to the pool at all times.

7. Move Objects Away from the Pool

Objects such as chairs and tables may be used for climbing if not moved away from the pool. Not only may children enter the water from these objects, but they may use them for exiting the pool. Because these objects are not stable, they may be a hazard if children grab onto them in an effort to get out of the water. For this reason, all objects, big or small, should be moved away from the pool.

8. Install the Right Pool

As a final precaution, make sure you install a high-quality, durable above-ground pool. Many above-ground pools have flimsy sides that make entering the water easy for young children. Before installing an above-ground pool, consider buying a solid pool with firm siding. Always make sure ladders are properly attached, and install fencing around the pool area.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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