Safety precautions for backyard pools

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- It's 100-percent preventable. That's what Phoenix Fire Department officials say about drownings.

In the city of Phoenix alone, there have been 17 water-related calls already. Last year, four children drowned.

While nothing beats constant adult supervision when kids are near or in the pool, there are steps you can take to make sure kids don't have access to the water.  

"Every pool, whether it has a fence or not, should be considered a danger," Phoenix Fire Capt. Larry Nuñez said."[Kids] will be creative in trying to find a way into that water. ... Adult supervision, obviously No. 1, is the key, but all the different barriers need to be considered."

A pool fence and self-latching gates are great, but what if you don't have one and can't afford to put one in? There are many products out there to help keep kids from getting out to the backyard.

Debbie Hernandez with The Home Depot says many of those options are affordable.

From Debbie Hernandez

So often we assume it can never happen to us, but we have to be prepared with every precaution if there is a pool in the backyard. Regardless of whether you have young children of your own. there is almost always the possibility that small children may come for a visit -- grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends' kids.

While the best safety precaution is always constant adult supervision, here are some hints and tips that may help save a life one day.

For the house, even before getting to the pool area:

  • Keep the safety door on the dog door locked securely whenever possible. (Replacement safety doors can be ordered at The Home Depot if yours is missing or broken)
  • Remove the dog door completely. Not only can children crawl out, burglars can get in.
  • Install a pool safety alarm on any door or window that goes out to the pool area.
  • Install additional window locks on all windows facing the pool area.
  • Install additional latch or lock high up on all doors facing pool area.
  • Install a deadbolt lock in doors facing pool area.
  • Install motion sensors on the back of the house, covering the back door, patio and pool area.
  • Install self closing hinges on all doors facing pool area.

For the pool area:

  • Keep a pool cover on the pool whenever not in use.
  • Pool fence around the pool.
  • Padlock on the pool fence gate, locked at all times.
  • Keep area well lit.

Pool safety is of the utmost importance. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, so please take the time to secure all area.