Tips For Above Ground Pool Safety

above ground pool with wood paneling

Some people believe that since entry isn’t at ground level, above-ground pool safety isn’t as big of a concern for owners. Far too many times, this ends in tragedy. Of the approximately 3400 deaths annually from drowning, almost 20% occur in above-ground pools. That means that just as much care and attention is needed when planning for the safety of your friends, family, and pets when an above-ground pool is present. When you make safety a priority, you help keep your backyard pool a fun, safe oasis for everyone involved.

The Above Ground Pool Paradox

At first glance, it would stand to reason an above-ground pool offers more safety and lowers the risk of accidental drowning. With sidewalls that rise up to 4 feet off the ground, these pools can often be taller than small children. Even temporary style pools sold in department stores seem to present a challenge at no more than 2-3 feet high. This same height, however, contributes to their risk.

Kids and pets can be resourceful, and climbing is always a tempting opportunity for adventure. Whether from standing on other objects, navigating the ladder, or using some other inventive method of entry, kids and some pets can still find a way to enter the pool unsupervised. Once in the pool, above ground models usually don’t offer a “shallow” end to rest on, making the entire pool deeper than is safe. The high walls can make it harder to climb back out once weighted down with pool water. Using a precarious ladder also increases the risk of slipping, falling, and head bumps both in and out of the pool. Above-ground pool safety must be a priority.

Protecting Your Pool Area

An above-ground pool fence should be your first line of defense in protecting your pool. Just as with in-ground pools, it offers a barrier that prevents unsupervised entry by kids, pets, or careless adults. Removable mesh pool fencing is the perfect choice for above-ground pool safety. Made with a durable, UV-resistant mesh fabric stretched between strong poles that are anchored into the ground, it is engineered to prevent climbing by not allowing the purchase needed for handholds or leverage. Gaps are kept to a minimum so small bodies can’t slip through, and gates are installed with self-closing and self-latching mechanisms to ensure your pool’s protection.

They also offer the flexibility you want without compromising on above-ground pool safety. When more space is needed around the above-ground pool, the fence can be removed, allowing for larger get-togethers, temporary free access, or any other situation that arises. Once you’re ready to shut the pool down for the night, the fence is easily set back up to restore your protection.  

Ladders should either be designed to restrict access when the pool is not in use or moved to where they cannot be used to enter the pool or circumvent your pool fence. Some owners choose to lift the ladder over the pool wall and place it in the center of the pool, while others use doors or ladder guards that prevent climbing the outside portion of the ladder. The important thing is to ensure it can’t provide an easy route for the pool area or water entry.

If you’ve built up a raised deck around your above-ground pool, a safety pool net or safety cover may be able to be installed. Anchors to your decking and tensioned with clips and springs, these safety barriers are meant as an additional layer of protection to your above-ground pool fence that prevents water entry. The mesh or weave holds potential drowning victims up and out of the water until they can be pulled back to safety.  

above ground pool with raised deck attached
above ground pool with raised deck attached

Promoting Proper Swimming Safety

Safety in an above-ground pool may start with ensuring you have the proper barriers to unsupervised entry, but it doesn’t end there.  Many of the same safety principles used for in-ground pools still apply. This includes common pool area safety tips, good habits to form in and around the water, and preparations you can make to ensure any swimmer is safe.

Your local American Red Cross is a great place to learn lifesaving skills like CPR, first aid, and water rescue. Classes are usually available in association with local groups or sponsors, making them one of the most widely available resources for both pool owners and users. Once you’re certified, don’t forget to give yourself the tools to use your newfound skills should the need arise. A well-stocked emergency and first aid kit should be readily accessible and clearly marked in or near the pool area.

child and swim instructor in the pool
child and swim instructor in the pool

Adults and parents of children who will be using the pool should also look into swimming classes if there’s a need. While you may know the ins and outs of above-ground pool safety, knowing how to swim and handle themselves in water protects your kids even when they’re away from home and your supervision. Check with local sports complexes, pools, and gyms for available classes and times. It’s an easy way to make safety fun.

You also want to make sure you’re keeping the area inside your above-ground pool fence free from hazards. Radios, phone chargers, and other electrical appliances not specifically designed for the pool present shock and electrocution hazards. Glass is a cutting hazard when broken, and in pool water, broken glass becomes virtually invisible, endangering both swimmers and the pool itself. Finally, extraneous toys, towels, bags, and other potential obstructions can easily lead to slips and falls. Drowning isn’t the only threat to above-ground pool safety, and a little care goes a long way toward prevention.

Getting The Protection You Need

Your local Lifeguard on Duty installer can help you design a fence that promotes above-ground pool safety while leaving you the flexibility to do more with your pool and yard. We’ll take a look at your pool area and existing structures, get the measurements we need, and give you a no-cost, no-obligation estimate in writing. You might be surprised how affordable the peace of mind that comes with a safer pool can be.

Once you’re ready to get started, we can install a removable mesh pool fence around an above-ground pool in as little as a week to ten days. Make the decision to give your friends, family, and pets a safer pool. Schedule your free estimate from Lifeguard on Duty today.

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