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Tips for swimming pool safety, maintenance

Friday, May 9th, 2014
Issue 19, Volume 18.

INLAND EMPIRE – The rains have gone and temperatures have started rising again – that means swimming pool season cant be far off!

Experts share a few handy tips to help pool owners keep them safe and looking great.

Stay safe

Watch the kids!Rule number one. Swimming pools are designed to be fun. But every year children drown or get seriously hurt in residential swimming pools – almost always because adults stop paying attention.

Teach kids how to swim (parents/guardians should learn as well if they dont know how). If a house opens directly into a pool, install a door-alarm to alert someone when a child opens it. If there isnt already a fence between the house and pool, consider putting one up. Kids wander around a lot and can find their way into the pool even if theyre out of sight for only a minute.

When children are in the pool, always watch them. And remember, water wings, styrofoam "noodles" and other toys are not safety devices and children wearing them should not be left unattended.

Check the fences

For those who have a fence and self-closing gate around a pool, they should check to make sure the spaces between each of its pickets and between the bottom rail and the ground are no more than four inches apart and the fence is at least five feet tall so children and animals cant squeeze through or climb over to get into an unattended pool.

Make sure pool drain covers are visible and intact

If one cant get a clear look at their pools drain covers - the pool needs cleaning! If they are clearly visible, make sure theyre not broken or chipped and remind children not to play near them so they cant get sucked in and trapped.

Have two pieces of safety equipment

Every pool should have two essential pieces of safety equipment: a life ring (life preserver) with a diameter of at least 17 inches that can be thrown to help struggling swimmers stay afloat, and a safety hook, to pull people to safety. One should also consider keeping a phone at the pool while swimming, so if an emergency call needs Advertisement
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to be made, it can be done quickly.

Repair any damage to decking, equipment and pool area

Make sure pool ladders and pool railings are secure so people arent hurt when they rely on them to get in and out of the pool. Repair damage to decking to prevent people from tripping.

Dont swim when sick

Chlorinating a pool only does so much. Its important to keep germs out of a pool. Practice good hygiene. Dont allow swimmers who are experiencing diarrhea. If there is an accident in the pool, be sure to clear the pool and follow guidelines for proper cleaning of the water.

Test pool water routinely

Testing the chemical balance of the water in a pool is one of the most important things a person can do to make sure its up to par. Thats because that balance – which keeps the water disinfected, clean and safe – can be easily thrown out of whack by heavy use, hot weather, rain and lots of other things. To keep a pool safe, test the chlorine and pH levels at least twice a week and daily if possible.

Skim, brush and vacuum a pool regularly

Theres a lot of stuff out there that can get into a pool and make it look cloudy or green. Swimmers can carry in sunblock, oils, and other items. Theres dust, sediment and leaves blowing in the air that can all make it a lot harder for a filtration system to keep things clean. So use a hand skimmer to clean a pools surface, brush the walls, and vacuum its floor often. Dont forget to remove any leaves and debris in the skimmer


Keep the deck clean

It only stands to reason – the less mess there is on the deck surrounding a pool, the less stuff that can be blown or carried into it. A good sweeping will go a long way to keeping a pool looking pristine.

Keep the pool filter clean

If the pool has a cartridge-based filter, make sure to check, clean, or replace the filters when theyre dirty. If using a sand filter, make sure to backwash and clean the filter screens when they need it.



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