Do Pool Alarms Boost Safety?

Do Pool Alarms Boost Safety?

If you have a pool and children, you’ll definitely appreciate having a suitable pool alarm. In fact, in some areas, pool alarms are required for residential pools. We take a closer look at a recent study on pool alarms to give you an idea of whether or not pool alarms are effective.

Surface vs. Subsurface Alarms

The study, which was conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, focused on two common types of pool alarms: surface and subsurface alarms. Surface alarms are placed directly on the surface of the pool water. If any motion is detected, the alarm goes off or sends you an alert via your smartphone.

A subsurface alarm is attached to the side of the swimming pool. It works in a similar way as a surface alarm, except it detects motion just below the surface. Therefore, if your child accidentally falls into the pool in an area where surface movement isn’t detected, you’ll get an alert about underwater movement along with notifications of any surface movements detected. Both alarms also have receivers mounted to the side of the home.

False Positives

One of the situations the study looked at was whether or not false positive readings were detected and, if so, how often. False positives can occur due to things like a strong wind, heavy rainfall, or leaves falling into the pool. According to the published results, surface sensors were more likely to trigger false positives than ones mounted to the pool’s side.

Response Times

The study also looked at how quickly the alarms responded to something purposely placed in a pool to simulate the weight of a child. According to the results, response times ranged between 7 and 30 seconds for all alarms tested. However, there was a delay if the distance was greater than 35 feet from the entry point. In some instances, some of the systems failed to activate at all at distances greater than 35 feet from the point of entry. Other systems had a delayed reaction of several minutes at a distance beyond 35 feet from the point of entry. Given the fact that it can take only a few minutes for a child to drown in a pool, this is definitely concerning.

Not Relying Solely on Alarms

The authors of the study urge parents to consider other options in addition to pool alarms to keep younger pool users safe. This list could include making an effort to keep an eye on your kids more when they’re by the pool. You may also wish to install an extra camera by the pool area if you have an existing video alarm system. It can be helpful to test your own pool alarm to see what the response time is by simulating an accidental fall into your pool. Do this at different distances from the alarm to get a feel for how well your alarm works.

If you need advice about any aspect of pool safety, call the experienced professionals at San Diego Pools. We’re a premier San Diego pool contractor, and our team of pool design and construction experts are dedicated to building the pool that’s right for your family and providing you with the highest-quality service in the industry. Give us a call today at 888-707-7786.

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