With so many options to improve on pool safety, which ones are the best? All have their Pros and Cons, presented without bias. What’s the best safety solution for you? Safety Fencing, covers, and nets are just a few examples.
If you have small children in the house, or soon will – having an open pit of water in the backyard can be downright scary. Pool safety is listed among the top concerns about pool ownership, along with maintenance.
While having alarms, barriers, supervision or even swim lessons all increase pool safety, pool barriers are one of the best ways to improve pool safety.
POOL SAFETY FENCING
A 4-sided fence, of aluminum or mesh panels, is the safest type of pool fence. Most codes specify that a pool fence must be 4 or 5 feet tall, be non-climbable (without cross rails that give a toe-hold), and have no gaps over 4 inches, between or below the slats.
Mesh pool fencing is an attractive, see-thru pool fencing that meets all safety codes, and can be installed for under $10 per linear foot, by the homeowner, or your local handyman. It’s often called removable pool fencing, because an adult can remove the fence sections, to open up the pool for a party, or when kids are older and out of harm’s way.
POOL SAFETY COVERS
Even safer than a safety pool fence is a safety pool cover. These stretch drum tight across the pool, and are anchored into the pool deck. Completely non-removable by children, it can support the weight of a 4000 lb car, so it will support any small child (and large dogs, too).
Automatic pool covers are also a super safe pool barrier because they cover the pool itself, not just the area around the pool. They even provide the extra benefit of saving heat loss and evaporation prevention.
Pool Safety Covers Vs. Pool Safety Fence
So… which is better, a Pool Cover or Fence?
They all have advantages and also have limitations or disadvantages. Safety covers and Auto covers are all very safe – when they are on the pool. Problem is – you have to diligently remember to replace the cover (completely) after using the pool. Even in the dark, or the rain, or when the kids are already in bed and you have other things to do. If it’s not on the pool, it’s not protecting the children.
Safety fences are inherently more safe, because you do not have to remove it to use the pool, just go through the gate. The gate however, is the weak link in the chain, and more than one drowning has occurred from a gate left open, or latched improperly.
Ultimately either option is great and will provide you with an extra safety barrier however nothing substitutes for proper adult supervision around a swimming pool.