Each year, over 4,000 people drown in the USA, making it the 4th leading cause of accidental death, according to the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. Since one-third are children under the age of 14, something as simple as a Pool Alarm could save thousands of lives each year.
The concept behind a pool alarm is quite simple; they are a device that you place in the water and it will monitor the water for movement. If movement is detected, it will sound an audible alarm to warn you. Since a child can drown in the time it takes to go get a glass of water, a pool alarm should be mandatory in every pool in American.
When you are choosing a pool alarm, you want to consider a smart pool alarm like the Pool Protector, one that will analyze the surface of the water and detect minute movements, like when a child or dog falls into the water. They usually have some type of motion or movement detection that uses an integrated circuit to control the alarm.
You also want one that operates on batteries, because you don’t want to run an electrical cord to something in the water. It should have a low battery warning alarm, so you know when it’s time to change the batteries. This one operates on one 9 volt battery; choose a lithium-ion batter for long life.
The alarm won’t do you any good if it goes off every time you go swimming. You want to look for an alarm that has some type of bypass key that will allow the pool alarm to turn off while you swim. When you are finished, use the bypass key to reset the alarm to guard mode.
The Pool Protector covers 32 square meters of pool, or about 104 square feet. If your pool is larger, it is suggested you add another alarm for proper coverage. While it rests on the side of the pool, with a pin that keeps it from moving, it has a throat, similar to an elephant’s trunk that extends into the water and will work with pools that have in-wall skimmers. Since the alarm depends on making contact with the water, you need to monitor your levels so the alarm does not go less than 4 inches into the water.
You want to make sure you don’t put it too close to the return line from the filter, as the turbulence could trigger the alarm. Make sure any returns lines point down, instead of up.
The alarm has a remote that has a 100db alarm that sounds when movement is detected. ½ the block will hear this alarm, so you will know when someone falls in. It needs to be kept less than 300 feet from the alarm. A pool alarm is not supposed to substitute for a lifeguard or supervision. Never leave a child alone near a pool, even to go get a glass of water or answer the phone. That is when you usually have a drowning.
If you have a pool, and you have children or grandchildren, one of the best things you could ever do to protect them is install an inexpensive pool alarm. Of all the preschoolers that drown, 70% are in the care of one or both parents; don’t let your child be a victim.