5 Off-Season Pool Safety Tips

by Matt Giovanisci

Pool safety doesn’t stop when the summer ends and the cover goes on. In order to protect your family, neighbors and pets, a few steps have to be taken. Follow these five helpful tips to guarantee a safe and accident-free off-season.

aluminum pool safety fence

1. Invest in a Safety Fence

Fencing is actually a legal requirement in several states, so this one is a classic no-brainer. Having a secure perimeter fence with a lockable gate is the most important step one can take to secure a pool area, on or off-season. Legally, a pool owner may be liable for any person or even pet that suffers injury due to a pool that isn’t adequately fenced in.

Besides offering safety, proper pool fencing also acts as a barrier to debris, keeping leaves and other windblown objects away from your pool and its cover. While chain-link is the most cost-effective option, investing in attractive wood or vinyl fencing will add to the pool area’s beauty while offering protection.

2. Get a Safety Cover

There are pool covers, and then there are pool covers. While an inexpensive tarp may hold off debris and rainwater through the off-season, it won’t do so effectively. It also won’t be very safe. Any adult, child or large animal that accidentally finds themselves on the cover will almost certainly dislodge a tarp, even if it’s weighed down at the edges. This leaves the potential victim of tragedy submerged in cold water with dozens of square feet of tarp – not a pleasant scenario.

A secure, durable pool cover stretched taught and secured by ring bolts is the ideal protection for an inground pool. For above ground pools, safety covers are available, but the most imperative step is to make sure that the stairs leading to the pool be secured with a locked gate. A pool can be a dangerous place, and never more so than when the temperature is low and help is indoors. For that reason, pools should be kept firmly and securely covered.

3. Gate Alarms Are a Good Idea

Assuming the pool is secured by a perimeter fence, the gate must be one that can’t easily be bypassed by the unsuspecting. A self-locking gate is the best place to start, but for the extra measure of safety we recommend adding a gate alarm. These small, inexpensive alarms are installed onto the gate and emit a shrill sound when someone opens it. This serves as a warning to whoever enters the pool area while alerting anyone within hearing that someone is passing through the gate.

Pool gate alarms are particularly important

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for children, who are the least likely to understand the dangers of a closed pool, and pets, who may have no concept whatsoever of the hazard. The offensive sound will instinctively drive both away from the pool area, and bring the attention of any nearby adults.

4. Remove Electrical Equipment

If your pool area is equipped with electrical equipment such as lights, radios, or even the filtration system, some safety steps must be taken. Remove all wiring from the pool area for the duration of the off-season. Cover all outlets. Take away any electrical equipment that is portable, and store it for the winter. Any electrical equipment or wiring has the potential to become a fire hazard, especially when left unattended for an entire season.

5. Proper Communication

As always, the most powerful defense against any safety hazard is knowledge. As a pool owner, it is your responsibility to communicate to your family and neighbors the potential dangers of a closed pool. Talk to your children and their friends about pool hazards in the same way you’d warn them about crossing the street or talking to strangers.

Make sure that your neighbors know how dangerous a closed pool area can be to their children or pets if wandered into. If using a gate alarm, make your neighbors aware of what the sound indicates. They may be the ones coming to the rescue in your absence.

By following these simple steps, you can rest assured that your pool, your family, and your neighbors are safe year-round, and look forward without anxiety to the start of the season.

If you want to learn more about pool

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safety and DIY pool care, be sure to visit Swim University and enjoy a plethora of how-to videos, articles and online tools to help you take care of your swimming pool, both on and off-season.

Happy Swimming!

Matt Giovanisci - Pool and Spa Care Expert

Matt-Giovanisci is the creator of Swim University, a website that teaches homeowners how to take care of their pools and hot tubs by providing simple how-to articles, entertaining videos, and online tools. Matt started working in the pool and spa industry when he was just 13 years old at a local pool supply store in town. He quickly became a manager at age 16, running the store entirely by himself. Since then he’s worked at a few different pool and spa companies before focusing his full attention on Swim University.
Swim University | YouTube Channel

What to do with Oodles of Noodles

Let’s just admit it. Summer is over. There’s no going back as we watch the leaves turning brown on the trees. Now that your pool is finally closed, you may have left over foam noodles from those warm summer days, but where do they go when the air gets chilly? Why not put them to work?!

Our 5 Favorite Pool Noodle Ideas

  1. This simple, yet beautiful pool noodle garland really brings everything together. Check out the blog post from Sugar & Cloth for a full tutorial.Pool Noodle Garland via Sugar & Cloth
  2. At the Swimways Corp. annual cookout this summer we used our noodles as napkin rings – a cute and colorful way to brighten up any party. Using three different colored noodles, simply slice evenly and pull your napkins through the hole for a cheap and quirky solution.Pool Noodle Napkin Rings
  3. This tutorial for creating Pool Noodle Ponies from Ginger Snap Crafts is great for imaginative young minds and makes for an awesome weekend craft project for kids and parents. Pool Noodle Ponies
  4. It is October! So here’s a fun decorative fall idea from Coupons Are Great, with tutorial – Pool Noodle Pumpkins!Pool  Noodle Pumpkins
  5. Ahoy thar me mateys! Do you have a pirate party t’plan? If so, Sophie’s World has a great
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But Wait, There’s More!

We’ve scoured Pinterest for the most creative pool noodle craft ideas out there and created a dedicated board. Here are our favorites! What’s your favorite noodle re-purposing idea?

Making a Swimming Difference, One Class at a Time

With her brightly colored swim

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suit and equally sunny disposition, Leslie Paul stands poolside while she talks to the class about their upcoming lesson. Anxious to get started, the excited children quickly fall in line with their designated instructor and split off to different areas of the Windsor Oaks Pool for their third day of the week long swim training program. From the most timid of swimmers wearing fluorescent flotation devices, to confident splashers, each group is provided instruction based upon their level of comfort in the water.

Really Awesome People Swimming (RAPS) was founded by Leslie in 2007 after she found out about the high drowning rates amongst the minority population. The Hampton Roads, Virginia based organization teaches local children and teens who otherwise do not have the means to participate in swim lessons how to swim and to be safe while in, on or around the water. Leslie and her team of instructors passionately teach swimming and safety skills to children free of charge throughout the summer. Their goal is to ensure no child is left out when it comes to learning to swim due to lack of pool facilities, race or socioeconomic status.

Swimways Corp. supports Leslie and her team by donating swim training aids such as SwimWays water toys and pool noodles, and COOP waterproof balls and skateboard floats. In addition we also provide monetary support towards this worthy cause, enabling the RAPS team to ensure even more local children learn to swim.

Quick stats about RAPS:

  • 346 children + 6 adults = 352 people served through the RAPS program in 2013
  • 15 instructors with a combined total of 303 years of experience, and 1 lifeguard with 5 years of experience
  • Total number of people served through the RAPS program since 2007 = 1,315

Did you know?**

  • About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. Making it the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.
  • Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2009, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from unintentional injury, more than 30% died from drowning.
  • Taking part in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning among children ages 1 to 4 years.
  • African-American children ages 5 to 14 drown at a rate nearly three times higher than their Caucasian peers.
  • Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.

For more information about this amazing program, or if you’d

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like to contribute to the cause, visit: reallyawesomepeopleswimming.org

** Sources: Unintentional Drowning: Get

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