Doing An Audit Of Your Backyard Can Minimize Risk Factors For Drowning
As a homeowner with a pool in your backyard, you should consider what layers of protection need to be in place to keep your family safe. Installing a pool fence is step one in this process and a vital component to pool safety and drowning prevention.
However, as a parent you shouldn’t stop at installing a pool fence. Babies and toddlers are easily thwarted from entering the pool area that is protected by a pool fence but if you are the parent of an older child, or if your younger child is particularly “creative” (and ambitious) a pool fence alone often is not enough. This is why having multiple layers of protection in place is so important.
Deciding on what these layers will be for your home begins with doing an “audit” of your backyard. What this means is simply going out into your yard and examining what seemingly harmless things or items can become potentially dangerous access points to your pool. Get down on the ground, or on your back, and look around to see what a young child or toddler might see. Think about what “tools” are available to them that could potentially be used to enter the pool area or circumvent a barrier.
For example, is your pool near trees, tables or other fixtures that can allow your child to climb on and possibly gain access to the pool? Do you have a shed with a ladder inside? Perhaps you should consider locking the shed then. Is a ladder actually in the yard or not secured to a trampoline or other “game” or “toy?” You should also take stock of what other items found in your yard can be moved to the pool area to allow them access.
In addition to taking an audit of your yard, you should consider installing additional layers of protection. This can include:
- Pool Fencing
- Pool Alarms
- Self-closing, self-latching gate
- Pool gate locks
- Pool safety covers
Each of these items offer an added layer of protection. Paired with your own audit of your yard, you will be able to create a safer environment for your family and reduce the risk of pool drowning in your home.
When you should conduct backyard audits to identify potential pool drowning hazards?
- At the end, beginning and periodically through the pool season
- After any major changes to your backyard or any construction or landscaping near the pool
- If you move into a new home
- Before any company comes over especially ones with young children
The key is to be CONSISTENT, TIMELY and THOROUGH. And, never rely on parental supervision alone. Accidents often happen in an instant.
If you are in the Northeast, in New York where we are located, for example, as you are preparing to close your swimming pool for the season, this is a great time to evaluate possible risks or look for holes in your layers of protection in regards to pool safety (inspect your fences!). Pool safety is vital all year round, even when your pool is closed for the season! If you need to install new pool fencing, contact us today at (516) 766-5336.