It’s horribly tragic, but the fact is kids drown way too often (It’s the #1 cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4). So do adults. So do pets. And yet, some spend 6-7 figures on a pool and fail to actually keep it safe. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had about pool fences that end with “Oh, I’m always there when the grandkids are there”, “they’re all old enough to swim”, or “they would never go swim when I’m not outside with them”. With this, I often want to rebut (but usually don’t): Have you ever lost track of a kid for 4 minutes or more? Did you know 4-6 minutes is about the amount of time your brain can go without oxygen before brain damage occurs? Is the chance of a kid, adult, or pet drowning worth that view out the balcony? Do you ever think a family friend or neighbor’s kids will come over? For me, the price of a life far outweighs the price of a fence or backyard aesthetic.
Many drowning prevention advocates, including the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, agree that every pool needs a proper fence, one fully detached from the home. There are a few different guidelines included in building a proper safety barrier to the pool but a trusted, certified installer will know the best practices. This simple prevention method can and does save lives.
If you have a fence for your pool or are in the process of getting one, consider a “smart” electronic latch, like GateSense, that will alarm or notify you if the gate isn’t fully closed, if someone opens it when they shouldn’t, or one where you can even limit gate access in the first place. There are some good non-electronic options in locks, but if these fail and you’re not around, you’ll never know until it’s too late. And that’s never worth the risk. GateSense will be available for preorder soon and will certainly be available before the summer so reserve yours today!