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Pool Safety Equipment

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Pool Safety Equipment

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Like the works that run a pool or spa, there is a basic set of equipment for safety and water rescue. At a minimum, you should keep a life (or toss) ring, shepherd’s hook, and rescue tube in good repair and within a few steps of the water. For longer and larger pools, double the set and keep each one at opposite ends of the pool.

While life rings and shepherd’s hooks are made to resist most climate conditions, and therefore can and should — be left out on deck while the pool is open, the vinyl coating of a rescue tube can become brittle and crack if exposed to extreme changes in climate; as such, consider storing it in a weather-resistant box or shed on or near the pool deck and having it on hand only when people are using the pool.

Pool Safety Equipment Must-Haves

A full set of safety gear doesn’t end with these three items; ideally, the following equipment is also on deck whenever someone is in the water:


    As cute as they are, water wings and similar flotation devices aren’t as safe as certified life jackets for young children and non-swimmers. Keep a few child-sized jackets on hand, as well as an adult-sized model, so that everyone can enjoy the water safely.

    A complete first aid kit for a pool and spa includes pressure and a variety of adhesive bandages, a gauze roll and pads, an antiseptic spray or pads and/or an antibiotic gel, 30 SPF or higher-rated sunscreen, waterproof medical tape, tweezers, cold pack, latex gloves, cotton swabs or pads, and a first aid instruction book.


    pool line

    Once the depth of the pool reaches 5 1⁄2 ft. (per building codes, mentioned earlier) and begins to more steeply descend toward the deep end, a rope with decorative floats along its length lying across the pool at that juncture provides a visual reference to a more radical change in water depth and serves as an effective “do not cross” barrier for young and/or inexperienced swimmers. The rope and float line can be easily removed and stored close by when it’s not needed.


    Your designated safety expert (and perhaps a backup for that person if they’re unavailable) should be trained and certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic first aid to react quickly and with confidence in the event of an emergency. Local hospitals and healthcare clinics, YMCAs, fire and rescue departments, the Red Cross, and other civic groups in your area offer CPR and first aid classes, usually for free; the YMCA or a health club may offer lifeguard and water safety classes, as well.


    pool therm

    An easy-to-read thermometer designed for underwater use is a great measure of safety for a spa, where water temperature exceeding 104 degrees F. (40 degrees C), or lower for young soakers, can be dangerous. Check the thermometer before each use. In a swimming pool, a thermometer is handy to know if and how efficiently the heater is working, or to make sure the temperature is where you or other swimmers want it to be for different activities (e.g., cooler for lap swimming, higher for recreation or in cooler months).