A house with a pool or spa in the backyard is a dream for many. But, this dream of having a pool in the lawn or backyard may turn into a nightmare. Incidents of unwanted drowning are very common if you do have children and pets in your house. Adult supervision can prevent these accidents to some extent, but pool alarms are the best option to do this job. And, it is worthy to mention that many states’ law does require a pool alarm in your pool.
In this article, I will try to guide to through the pool security systems. When you are done reading this, you will get a clear picture of the necessity of pool alarms and facts related to it. Besides, I will present some pool alarm reviews to help you find the best product for your pool safety.
Why is a pool alarm a necessity?
If you have some kind of swimming pool or spa in your lawn or backyard and you also have kids or pets, then you may be on a constant tension. Well! Pool alarm can be the best investments for you to ease down that stress. A pool alarm can watch over your pool to restrain any unwanted accidents. It can indeed reduce the risk of accidental drowning in your backyard. Your babies, young children, pets and non-swimmers of all ages can wander or play in the lawn without bothering you about their safety.
Pool alarm nowadays is not just another trend, but it is a mere necessity. If you haven’t set a pool alarm yet, here are a heap of reasons that you must get one today to protect the family and others.
Protection of kids
Children are very curious by nature, and definitely, water is the center of attraction to them! Besides, Children and water pools just sync together. A staggering number of 700 children in the United States die each year due to unintentional drowning. For every kid who drowns, five more need to rush to the emergency room for non-fatal submersion injuries. The even more disturbing part of the statistics is that each of these accidents was completely avoidable. So, it is no wonder that most of the pool alarm buyers put it in their carts to protect their children.
If you have a neighborhood with lots of children, then it’s the best way to protect the wandering children from drowning in your pool. Who doesn’t know that children can’t usually resist the urge to play in the pool? And, you probably don’t want your pool to be the center of that accident.
Protection of pets
Like kids, your pets such as dogs, cats or other animals are also very susceptible to pool accidents. In order to protect your lightweight pets, it’s always a good idea to bring a pool alarm to home.
Pool alarm in nowadays is more than a necessity. In many parts of US is a must to have a pool alarm and a pool gate alarm. A pool safety law in those states and cities requires its homeowners to maintain a pool alarm and a pool gate alarm in their pools.
A pool gate alarm is also a safety barrier that alerts the homeowner if someone opens the entrance of the pool area. Besides, it can give you the opportunity to intervene before anyone gets near the water.
To know more about the legal obligations regarding pool alarm in your community, you should check with your municipality. You may need a pool alarm, a pool door or gate alarm, a pool fence, or all of the above.
Pool alarm regulations
Often tragic local drowning in all kinds of pools or bodies of water prompts the authority to make new pool and spa alarm laws, regulating residential pools. According to the rules, the alarms must have the following features:
- The pool safety system has to operate 24/7
- It should detect the fall of a child of 6 kilos
- The alarm must be child tamper proof
- It has to have an immune system to atmospheric conditions
- The alarm must include a signal system which will show that it is working satisfactorily
How do pool alarms work?
To create a safe swimming pool environment for the whole family, the pool alarm systems are the ultimate option. They will act as the last line of defense against any unwanted drowning. Besides, it can add some extra safety to your swimming pool and pool area.
The pool safety systems have an attachment that extends 8 to 10 inches under the surface of the pool water. It acts as a motion detector. You need to place the wireless pool alarm on the deck of the pool about halfway from each end of the pool. Now, if anything around the designated weight 20 lbs, enters the pool the detector will sound an audible alarm.
Many alarms have a two-way remote that signals an audible alert via the remote if anything triggers it. The remote can also set off the actual alarm by itself. It works remotely. The whole system is wireless, and it only needs batteries to function.
Types of pool alarms
There are many options that you can easily get confused while purchasing a pool alarm. You can use any of them to keep your pool secure. But, at first, you need to know their mechanism and what they offer to safeguard your pool area.
I will discuss various pool alarms and their features underneath to help my readers to find the perfect safety system for their pool.
- Surface alarms
- Subsurface alarms
- Perimeter alarms
- Personal immersion alarms
- Wearable alarms
1. Surface alarms
A surface pool alarm is a kind of a safety system for your pool that floats on the surface of your pool. To keep them in the center of the pool you need to tie them to twine or string.
A type of tilt alarm operates with the surface alarm. It is something like the old pinball game. You will find a vertically hanging metal rod that is suspended inside the 1.5 inches sensor ring. Whenever the rod touches the ring, the alarm will go off. Surface alarms can detect the surface disruption through the surface waves. When an object falls into the pool, the surface waves trigger the alarm.
You can use the surface alarm in the pools that don’t have any hard edge. In addition, it can be used in the ponds or in the fountains.
Surface alarms have some benefits to convince you to use it for in your pool.
- This alarm is very easy to set up
- It doesn’t require any installation
- Battery powered (9V or AAs)
- Helpful for protecting small pets
- Usable in spas and in-ground pools
Surface alarms also have some disadvantages that you should know about.
- Some model can produce a false alarm because of wind and heavy rain or falling leaves, branches and objects
2. Subsurface alarms
Subsurface alarms can detect any movement underneath the surface of your pool water. They are also known as the ‘Subsurface wave detection system.’
The subsurface alarms contain a below-water sensor. The wave-induced pressure changes in the water activate the alarm. There are two designs of this kind of alarms. One counts on the movement of a magnetic float below the magnetic sensor. And, the other depends on the pressure-sensitive switch.
The subsurface alarms can provide the best options for small aboveground pools or the soft-sided pools, small ponds or fountains.
The benefits of the subsurface alarms are like:
- Less false alarms
- No need to remove during swimming
- Has adjustable sensitivity features
- Works in in-ground pools and spas
- Usable with a solar cover
The disadvantages of this safety system are like:
- Many models need installation onto the side of the pool, which makes it difficult for soft-sided above ground pools
3. Perimeter alarms
Perimeter alarms are different from the normal pool alarms. It features infrared alarms.
The perimeter infrared alarm uses the invisible laser beams to detect the movement. It encircles the pool or the pool area. Anyone crossing the laser beam will set off the alarm. The siren will alert the homeowner to avoid any unwanted incident.
You can use the perimeter alarms for any kind of water pools.
This type of safety systems are the expensive ones in the market with a lot of benefits.
- Can give you total protection on at a set height.
- Laser beams are adjustable.
Perimeter alarms have some disadvantages as well.
- Very costly.
- May not suit the visiting children as you need to set the height according to your child
- The siren will go off if the pool’s perimeter alarms are unintentionally moved, hit, or covered
4. Personal immersion alarms
Personal immersion alarms work through a special wristband or a pet collar. A person or the pet has to wear these bands or collars. If anyone wearing those bands or collars falls into the water, it will activate the alarm, and that will sound a remote alarm.
You need to fasten the wristband or the collar securely on the wrist or around the animal’s neck. The band or the collar has a battery-powered sensor. The main alarm alert is on a separate base station. If the sensor immerses in water, it will trigger the alarm.
This type of wearable pool alarms is usually for children and pets.
The benefits of the Personal immersion alarms are many. Such as:
- It provides continuous protection
- Triggers the alarm immediately after the immersion in water
- Don’t need any set-up or installation
- Usable in all kind of water bodies
The personal immersion alarms also have a disadvantage like:
- False alarm can occur with the daily activities like washing hands or walking in the rain
- The pets or the children need to wear the collar or band. Otherwise, it won’t work
5. Wearable alarms
Wearable pool alarms are just like the personal immersion alarms, and it works exactly like that.
What to consider before getting a pool alarm?
As I have stated already that many states have made it mandatory for their residents to install pool alarms in their pools. In the other states, the local authority or the municipality may require you to install pool alarms, but not the state itself.
Make sure to go through your local code enforcement department before buying that you’re in compliance with the laws and rules where you live.
Regulations of use
States like California, Connecticut, Tennessee, and New York have pool safety alarm laws on the books. Let’s have a look what the regulations of these states say about pool alarms.
California has always acted as a leader in propositions, and their pool laws are way ahead of the curve. It’s because of both the safety and energy.
- Every pool requires having as a minimum one drowning prevention safety item. This is mandatory for new pool installations or existing pool renovations.
Despite the cold weather, Connecticut is home to many pools. Their pool safety law was the first in the country to consider pools under 36 inches of depth as ‘the attractive nuisance.’
- Every pool requires having as a minimum one drowning prevention safety item. This is mandatory for new pool installations or existing pool renovations.
- The pool alarm must have an alarm sound of at least 50 decibels. It has to go off if anything of 15lbs or more enters the pools.
The pool safety law in Tennessee is known as the ‘Katie Beth’s Law.’ Before making the pool operational, the homeowners must install a pool alarm in their pools.
- The permission for the construction or remodeling a pool will not be issued, if the project specs don’t include a pool alarm.
- The pool suppliers must post a sign that states: ‘Stats Law Requires A Pool Alarm Be installed’ at their business places.
The busy lawmakers of the New York have already pulled pool laws and pool legislation for all bodies of water.
- Every pool (Old or new) need to have a new pool alarm.
- The pool alarms should detect any entry to the pool at any point of the pool.
- They have to detect the entry of an object and sound audible alarm (both poolside and the house).
There are also many key factors that impact the quality, usability, durability, and overall performance of a pool alarm. Individuals need to keep those factors in mind while buying pool alarms for their pool.
- Set up and placement
- Standard features
- Number of alarms
Set up and placement
This is one of the main issues that you must consider when purchasing your pool alarm. Distinctive models have diverse methods of setting up. Some are perfect for in-ground pools while others are reasonable for over the ground pools. Some will float on the water; others have to wear as bands or collar. There are also some categories that you need to mount on the wall or the entryway. Pick the one that addresses your issue.
Pool alarms are of various shapes and sizes, and these convey notable highlights or features too. The most fundamental features incorporate a disable button and the alternative to change the sensor’s affectability. Some pool alarms can also turn off consequently as they are lifted out of your pool. Many alarms have advanced features that may increase the sensitivity of the alarm after displacing or lifting it from the pool’s surface.
Number Of alarms
Look for the products that have two alarms. Because of the two alarms, it will be easier for you to hear the siren and rush to the pool area before any bad things happen.
Pool alarms have various sensor technologies. In the gate alarms, there are magnetic sensors which will go off as the gate is opened. In-ground pool alarms are designed to detect the movement of the water. Whenever the sensors detect any movement or disturbance in the water, it will trigger the alarm. In some products, the alarm may go off with the amount of weight displacement.
Pool alarms are there to help you get children, pets, and trespassers away from your pool. To get the maximum benefit, you should go for the products that will suit your pool. Besides, you can go through some pool alarm reviews to find which product will be the best for you according to your specific requirement.
You must find an alarm that you can hear when the sound of the siren is coming from far. Because of this, you should go for a loud device. However, you should be careful to choose a model that shouldn’t be too loud that may irritate you.
The pool safety systems that have two alarms, they usually come with a receiver. The receiver works within a particular range. Make sure that your product will offer the perfect range- depending on the distance of your house and pool.
The price may vary from one model to the other or one brand to the other. Take enough time to go through different models and brands to find out the features and the price. It will definitely give you the best one of your need while not breaking your budget.
Picking the best pool alarms
With vigilance, you can surely protect your family or loved ones from any unwanted drowning. A pool alarm will increase the security of your pool. There are a lot of pool alarms available in the market. And, this is needless to say that all of them are not up to the mark. While there are some worst products and also some best products like:
- iSmartAlarm DWS3R Contact Sensor
- Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
- Techko S187D Safe Pool Alarm
- Poolguard DAPT-2 Water Hazard Pool Door Alarm
- PoolGuard PGRM-SB Safety Buoy Above Ground Pool Alarm
- Safety Turtle New 2.0 Pet Immersion Pool/Water Alarm
- Poolguard PGRM-2 In-Ground Pool Alarm
iSmartAlarm DWS3R Contact Sensor
“The Best Pool Alarm for Any Purpose”
iSmartAlarm DWS3R Contact Sensor is an excellent DIY pool security system. As a matter of fact, you can install it very easily. Many of the security systems nowadays charge so0me fees or have contracts, but iSmartAlarm doesn’t have any. Besides, you can get remote access to your security system. You can also uninstall the network and can take this with you anywhere you want. This is indeed very helpful for the renters or if you are looking to move.
- Owner will receive an instant notification
- Completely wireless and easily portable
- Also works for doors, windows, cabinets, etc.
- Comes with two sensors
- Available in US and Canada only
- Very decent price
- No contracts or subscription fees
- Expandable; more sensors can be added
- Features some basic home automation components
- Contains chemical that can cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm
Techko S187D Safe Pool Alarm
“Secure the Entrance of Your Pool Area”
This pool alarm will monitor the entrance to your pool area. Whenever any object breaks the magnetic contact, the 110 dB sound will go off. On the other hand, the alarm system has two sensors. Because of this, you can open the glass door, and you can leave the screen door closed without neutralizing the alarm. After opening the door, the alarm will go off. By pressing the bypass button, you can turn it off. When you press the button while entering, you will get 10 seconds to shut the door behind you otherwise the alarm will set off.
- Passed the UL standards for Child Pool Safety Law
- Has an extra set of sensors & a bypass reset button
- Works for both sliding glass doors and screen doors
- Weather & water resistant features
- 110 to 120 dB alarm sound
- Has 6-tone alarm
- Easy to install
- Contains safety features for kids
- Two sensor allows the owner to open the primary door without opening the screen door
- Intruders can deactivate the alarm through the bypass button from outside
- The system does require some mounting skills
Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
“Floating Security of your Pool.”
Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm floats on the water’s surface. The waves produced by falling children or pets into the water will activate the alarm. You can also trigger the alarm from the remote receiver. It has adjustable sensitivity features. This will activate the alarm if anything the size of a child or pet falls into the pool.
- Perfect for both above-ground or in-ground pools
- Easy to set-up and suitable to use
- Battery powered; uses one 9-volt alkaline battery
- Made for long-term use
- The package consists of all hardware
- Does not require any installation
- Highly sensitive sensors make it prone to false alarm
- Need to turn off the alarm both on the water and the remote receiver
Poolguard PGRM-2 In-Ground Pool Alarm
“Guard your in-ground pool”
Poolguard PGRM-2 In-Ground Pool Alarm has tamper-proof features. This is always in alarm mode. If you remove the alarm from the pool, the alarm will go off. As a matter of fact, you can’t turn it off then. Whenever you want to use the pool just remove the system and turn the sleep mode on. The system will wake up automatically after the installation in the pool. The remote receiver of the alarm can work from a 200 feet range. The low battery indicator will remind you whether you should change the 9-volt battery or not.
- Meets the UL standard
- Manufacture in the USA
- Has one year warranty
- Battery powered
- 85 dB sound at ten feet
- Works perfectly both with or without solar covers
- No hazardous set-up
- Features new sensing technology that minimizes the false alarm chance
- Hard to remove without triggering the alarm
- Don’t have water-proof features
- Don’t have adjustable sensitivity
PoolGuard PGRM-SB Safety Buoy above Ground Pool Alarm
“Floating Security System for your above ground Pool.”
This pool alarm is made to be used in any above ground pool. It is usable in the spas. It floats on the water, and it has a sub-surface detection technology.
- Meets the ASTM Standard F2208
- Certified by the NSF
- Works in the above ground pool & spas
- Has one year warranty
- Features an in-house remote receiver
- Battery powered
- Has sleep mode feature
- Automatic wake-up feature
- Very much affordable
- The alarm sound is very low
Safety Turtle New 2.0 Pet Immersion Pool/Water Alarm
“Perfect way to monitor your pet’s movement around the pool.”
This Safety Turtle New 2.0 Pet Immersion Pool/Water Alarm is the best safeguard you can offer to your pets when they are around pools. The alarm will go off as soon as the band gets wet. It’s easily portable. On the other hand, you can use several wristbands with just one base system. This pool alarm also works in the salt water pools
- Very simple and easy to use
- Doesn’t require any installation
- Can use multiple pet adaptors with the same base
- Needs no programming and wiring
- Pet can’t remove by itself
- Allows owner to monitor the pet closely
- Has longer life
- The plastic of wristband may break over time
- A false alarm may occur with the normal water activities
When we are talking about pool safety, caution is always the best option. A pool alarm will add some extra security measure to your pool and help you supervise the area. As I have stated several time in the above discussion that pool alarms are often required by the law. So, you need to provide invaluable protection for children and pets with those pool alarms. I believe that this article will definitely help you to understand the importance of pool alarms and hope you can get the right one for your pool. Stay safe and be happy!