May marks the unofficial start of pool season for many pool owners. As the school year comes to an end, you may already have plans to make the most of your lanai from casual days outside to poolside parties for the summer holidays. The thoughts of barbeques, blue waters and fireworks during the Fourth of July will get you excited to kick off another pool season!
While having fun in your pool is important, safety should be your top priority. You want your guests to enjoy themselves while minimizing risk of injury. While pool safety is a major concern during this time of year, it is very manageable. To get you into the “swim” of things for a safety plan, we will offer several tips that can keep guests safe while making your pool the prime location for any event.
1. Keep the Water Clean
Pool safety is not just about making sure no one gets injured, it’s also about proper water chemistry. After all, clean pool water is safe to swim in when chemical levels are balanced and any floating materials are removed. When you fail to maintain these levels, a pool can become a host to a variety of bacteria, making guests run the risk of getting sick after a dip.
When items such as leaves make their way into your pool, they add to the problem by bringing in harmful substances that capitalize on imbalanced levels.When chlorine levels are particularly low, your pool can become a breeding ground for algae, a common but unwanted pool guest. High calcium hardness and alkalinity levels lead to cloudy pool water, offering poor visibility and a host of bacteria beneath the surface. If you notice these abnormal levels, take action. Alkalinity and calcium hardness can be lowered with muriatic acid, and you can also obtain chlorine in stores as well. To handle leaves and other loose materials that enter those crystal-clear waters, you can use a skimmer to remove them and stop contamination early on. When it comes to this aspect of pool safety, clean and test often to avoid issues before guests come over for a pool day.
2. Have Designated Supervisors
While guests should be able to enter and exit your pool at their own leisure, they shouldn’t be out there alone, especially when you have younger guests. Some of the common dangers posed by swimming pools can be slipping and in the worst-case scenarios, drowning. Such events can happen almost instantly, so having a pool safety protocol for swimming is the best way to avoid these incidents.
The most effective solution is for you or another guest to simply be around. Supervising swimmers allows you to ensure they will not engage in any reckless behavior while enjoying the refreshing waters. If you throw a party, you can recruit fellow attendees to supervise so you will not need to keep eyes on all swimmers at once. For an additional layer of protection, a pool barrier with latching gate can prevent guests from entering when no one is present and can even enforce when a pool is not available for use.
3. No Running Near the Pool
Slipping near a pool is an all-too-common issue, but one that can be quite painful. While slipping can send you into those cool waters, it can also make you hit the ground and incur a head or back injury, ruining a perfect swim day.
How can you avoid this problem? Don’t run around the pool when it is in heavy use by your guests. Whether they jump in or exit, water will make its way on the pavement and create quite the slippery surface. While hot temperatures may tempt you to rush to the pool, remember to prioritize your own well-being. To minimize this issue, Waterscapes uses pavers and travertine around a pool. These have textured, irregular surfaces which offer plenty of slip resistance and add a stylish aesthetic to your lanai!
4. Manage Spa Temperatures
Sitting in a warm, bubbling spa and enjoying the quiet after a long day is an enticing thought for any spa owner. This can be especially relaxing for your guests in the evening hours, enjoying the warmer waters while admiring the night sky. However, you need to be mindful of the water temperature, as intense heat can be harmful to your health. Spa temperature isn’t a one-size-fits-all setting, so you will need to adjust it to the current users for maximum comfort and to maintain proper pool safety.
While a spa should be hot, it should not exceed a certain point in terms of pool safety. In fact, the Florida Department of Health states that spas cannot exceed 104°F as that can put occupants at risk for issues such as heat exhaustion and hyperthermia. If children intend to use the spa, the temperature should be no warmer than 98°F to keep them from overheating. While healthy adults can enjoy temperatures between 100 – 104°F, it is recommended that you keep the temperature at 85°F during the summer. This allows you to be comfortable in a nicely heated spa when watching the stars at night.
While you should have a pool safety plan in mind for when guests come over, you will find the time planning it is well worth it. As one of Southwest Florida’s premier pool builders, Waterscapes makes safety the top priority when designing a pool, all while adhering to an owner’s personalized tastes for the environment. If you are ready to take the plunge and create your ideal pool, contact us here.