The summer heat is upon us and, as the days get longer and the sun gets hotter, homeowners will be using their pools more to beat the heat. To protect the swimmers in your backyard pool from injuries this summer, CSA Group, a leading testing and certification organization, offers these tips for pool safety:
- Get alarmed. A pool alarm sounds when it detects an object breaking the surface of the water. These should be used in combination with self-closing, self-latching gates for maximum safety.
- Surround it. Erecting a pool-side fence will prevent young children from gaining access to pools without designated supervision present.
- Don’t get trapped. Make your pool safer by installing anti-entrapment drain covers and also in your hot tub and whirlpool. A safety vacuum release system for entrapment emergencies will automatically stop suction and shut down the pump. All covers and emergency releases should be certified by an accredited testing and certification organization.
- Keep your head above water. Not everyone can swim, so make sure you can provide appropriate floatation devices. Keep a life jacket and other safety flotation devices close to the pool so that everyone can have fun and stay safe.
- Don’t be sucked in. NEVER sit on a drain cover as powerful suction can lead to serious internal injury or entrapment! Fingers and toes are easily caught on drain covers, leaving the most competent swimmers helpless. Submersion in water for even a minute can cause serious harm to swimmers. To avoid accidents, replace poorly-made, non-functioning, defective or broken drain covers before they become a hazard.
- Keep the limbs loose and the hair pulled back. Pool pumps and drains use suction to keep your water clean, but they can also be powerful enough to hold swimmers underwater. Make sure long hair and loose clothing is tied securely to avoid being caught in pool machinery.
- Watch for cover. A soft pool cover can heighten the risk of drowning for young children, who can slip and become trapped underneath it. Children can also drown in water that has collected on top of pool covers.
- Keep it dry. If you use a pool or spa cover, follow all instructions for their safe installation, use and maintenance. Always remove a cover completely before using the pool, and do not let standing water remain on top; pump it off.
- Don’t leave it standing. The CSA Group Standard for Children’s Playspaces and Equipment outlines the need for equipment to drain effectively so that water is not trapped or collected. Standing water creates drowning hazards and can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mosquitoes.
- Look for the certification mark. Ensure that all electrical pool parts (lights, pumps, heaters, etc.) are properly certified by an organization such as CSA Group. Hot tubs and whirlpools should also be certified.
CSA Group has a lot more tips to help protect Canadians. For more information about us, please visit our Safety Tips.
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit member-based association dedicated to advancing safety, sustainability and social good. We are an internationally-accredited standards development and testing & certification organization. We also provide consumer product evaluation and education & training services. Our broad range of knowledge and expertise includes: industrial equipment, plumbing & construction, electro-medical & healthcare, appliances & gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability. The CSA mark appears on billions of products around the world.
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