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Swimming Pool Alarms

swimming pool alarms Safety is one of the most important aspects of owning a swimming pool. This is especially true for small children. Kids are attracted to pools and it only takes a few moments unsupervised for an accident to happen. One of the best ways to keep a swimming pool safe when not in use would be to physically restrict access to the pool area via unclimbable gates or locked fences. Unfortunately even this may not be enough to completely safeguard your pool against accidental drowning. This is one of the main reasons that swimming pool alarms are now required by law in many areas for new pool construction. Before a pool can be passed as complete a swimming pool alarm must be installed.


January 1, 2011 saw a new law passed in Tennessee which required a swimming pool alarm to be installed on all newly built residential pools. The new law was called "Katie Beth's Law", named after 17 month old Katie Beth Maynard who drowned in an above ground swimming pool in 2009. Katie was the great grand daughter of Charlotte Burks, a state Senator from Cookeville Tennessee. Burks sponsored the legislation to require pool alarms for all residential pools built after January 1, 2011. This is a similar law to the one introduced in 2006 in New York State except in New York commercial swimming pools are also included in the requirement to have a pool alarm. Since 2006 any new swimming pool is required to have a safety alarm installed. This law also includes any swimming pools which have been modified or renovated since 2006, and also includes portable, temporary and above ground pool styles. New York instituted this law after a series of drownings in 2002 saw 26 drowning deaths of children and infants in swimming pools.


Pool alarms are just one of the ways in which new laws are coming into place to help secure swimming pool areas against accidental drowning. While many areas already have pool alarm laws similar to Tennessee and New York, these are only one of the many ways that you can endeavor to make your pool area safer. As of January 1, 2018 the California Pool Safety Act requires at minimum two different safety measures to be in place for all pools. Originally in 1996 the CPSA required pools to have at least one approved safety measure. In total the CPSA now offers seven ways to secure the pool area, of which you must use at least two of the following drowning prevention safety measures:


1) An alarm that will audibly sound upon detection of unauthorized or unsupervised entrance to the water

2) An exit alarm on any doors and windows that provide direct access to the pool area

3) Self closing and self latching mechanisms on any door that leads to the swimming pool area

4) An approved pool safety cover that can support at minimum 485 pounds of weight

5) An enclosure completely surrounding the pool that is at minimum 60" tall

6) A mesh pool safety fence with self closing and self latching gates

7) Other means of protection or isolation of the pool area which are greater than those stipulated above



Requiring at minimum two of these seven safety measures dramatically increases the safety of the pool area but also forces pool owners to think along the lines of safety. It can be easy to become complacent with swimming pool safety after many years of pool ownership, however it only takes one moment of distraction, or a unique and unfortunate circumstance to have an accident. While pool alarms and other forms of securing a swimming pool area may not yet be required where you live, it is very likely that it is just a matter of time before local bylaws force the issue for you. By getting a pool alarm system installed you can be proactive in securing your pool and making your home as safe as possible.


Important note on pool safety - One of the biggest concerns with swimming pool alarms is that it can create a false sense of security in some pool owners. It is critically important that you do not rely on a pool alarm, or any other method of preventative drowning safety measures, as a primary line of defense against accidents in your pool. There is no pool alarm or pool safety device that is 100% reliable against accidental drowning. While having a pool alarm can reduce the chances for an accident happening it is important to not take the potential danger of your pool for granted.





Pool Door Alarms

If you have a pool area that can be accessed via doors or windows at ground level in your home then you should look into getting a swimming pool door alarm. These devices are designed to detect a door or window being opened which results in a loud, audible alarm will that alerts you to the window or door. These systems do not detect someone in the water in a pool like some other pool alarm systems do but instead monitor access points to the pool area. Whether you live in an area that requires these alarms or not you should consider adding them to your home to reduce the potential for accidental drowning in your pool.





Poolguard DAPT-2 Pool Door Alarm
Audible Alarm: 85 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: 7 seconds
Power: 9 volt battery





Poolguard DAPT-WT Immediate Pool Door Alarm
Audible Alarm: 85 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: Immediate
Power: 9 volt battery





Smartpool YG03 Door/Window Alarm
Audible Alarm: 120 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: Immediate
Power: 9 volt battery





Doberman Security Pool Alert
Audible Alarm: 100 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: Immediate
Power: Two AAA batteries





Techko S088 Pool Alarm
Audible Alarm: 110 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: Immediate
Power: 9 volts AC (AC adapter included)





Ideal Security SK644 Pool Door Alarm
Audible Alarm: 105 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: Immediate
Power: 9 volt battery





Techko S189A Pool Safety Alarm
Audible Alarm: 115 dB
Delay until alarm sounds: Immediate
Power: 3 AAA batteries


When choosing a pool door alarm for your home it is important to familiarize yourself with the UL 2017 General-Purpose Signaling Devices and Systems, Section 77. If you are getting a door alarm for your pool to meet this bylaw requirement then it must be UL 2017 compliant to pass inspection. This includes the following criteria:


1) The alarm sound must last for 30 seconds or more and must trigger within seven seconds of the door / window opening

2) The alarm must be at minimum 85 dB from ten feet away

3) The alarm sound must be distinctly different from other alarms in the home such as smoke detectors

4) The alarm must automatically reset in all conditions

5) Any deactivation switch to allow adults to pass through the door should be mounted at minimum 54" above the ground



While any door or window alarm could be used to help secure a pool area, in order to pass inspection swimming pool door alarms must specifically meet the UL 2017 requirements listed above. Removing of the alarm system after passing inspection, or operating your pool without door alarms when required, can result in fines as well as the potential for liability should an accident happen in your pool.


Pool Alarm Systems

In addition to the door, window and gate alarms, you can also use pool alarm systems that detect movement in the pool water itself. These systems are designed to not trigger from windy conditions or from small animals like birds landing in your pool. While not suitable as a stand alone pool safety system, having a water motion detector in your pool can definitively reduce the potential for accidental drowning in your pool.





Safe Family Life Pool Alarm
Audible Alarm: 100 dB
Alarm Operation Movement of water
Maximum pool size: 16 x 32'
Power: 6 D batteries





Poolguard PGRM-2 Pool Alarm
Audible Alarm: 85 dB
Alarm Operation Movement of water
Maximum pool size: 20 x 40'
Power: 9 volt battery





Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
Audible Alarm: 85 dB
Alarm Operation Movement of water
Maximum pool size: 20 x 40'
Power: 9 volt battery





Pool Protector Pool Alarm
Audible Alarm: 100 dB
Alarm Operation Movement of water
Maximum pool size: 50 x 100'
Power: 6 D batteries





Blue Wave NA4212 Poolwatch Pool Alarm System
Audible Alarm: 85 dB
Alarm Operation Movement of water
Maximum pool size: 16 x 32'
Power: 6 D batteries





Smartpool PE23 PoolEye Alarm
Audible Alarm: 85 dB
Alarm Operation Movement of water
Maximum pool size: 18 x 36'
Power: 9 volt battery


It is important to check with local code requirements where you live if you are getting a pool alarm system in order to pass final inspection for your pool. The requirements for how a pool alarm needs to function changes depending on where you are located. For most pools you will need to meet the ASTM F2208 requirement which stipulates that every swimming pool that is installed, or modified, after December 14, 2006 must be equipped with an approved pool alarm that meets the following criteria:


1) Is capable of detecting a child entering the water and sounds an audible alarm

2) The alarm must be audible both at the poolside as well as at another location on the premises

3) The alarm must be installed, used, and maintained, in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions

4) Is not an alarm device which is located on a person or which is dependent on a device located on a person

5) A pool alarm must be capable of detecting entry into the water at any point on the surface of the swimming pool. If necessary, to provide detection capability at any point in the pool, more than one pool alarm must be installed.



Whether you are trying to meet permit requirements or simply want to make your pool area safer, a pool alarm is a great tool to help you accomplish this. No stand alone pool alarm system is enough to consider your pool area to be 100% safe. Adequate supervision of children and appropriate restriction to access of the pool area for people and animals is the most reliable form of pool area safety. Beyond this, experts agree that layers of protection is the most realistic way to improve swimming pool safety and help reduce the occurrence of accidental drowning in your pool. Every additional layer of protection such as a safety cover, alarm system or pool enclosure is an additional opportunity to prevent disaster. For more information on swimming pool safety consider the following articles:


Essential Pool Safety Equipment

How To Measure & Install A Safety Cover

Preventing Accidents On The Jobsite
(This article was published by Pool & Spa Marketing Magazine in March 2016)





Swimming Pool Steve

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