House Rules: I remember as a kid going down to the community pool with my brothers to cool off on those hot summer days. I also remember that big white sign just inside of the pool that had all of the big bold words listing everything that we couldn’t do. Although we perceived these as a burdensome list of regulations at the time, we have come to realize that rules are a good thing to have and publish. House rules establish responsibility to your family and guests using your system. Although you don’t need to have that big white billboard in your backyard, you should have and enforce a set of general family rules that will safeguard your guests and family members. A few suggestions might be:
- No running around pool deck (slipping on a wet surface is a common safety concern at pools)
- No pushing (pushing can result in someone being injured on both the pool deck or even inside of the pool)
- No Diving (pools that are not designed with a diving area should not permit diving by inexperienced family members or guests. Neck and back injuries can easily result from people diving into a shallow area and striking their head on the bottom of the pool.)
Security: Pools, although a beautiful and fun thing to have, present a safety hazard to those that are not able to swim. Small children, pets and animals and even some adults can suffer serious consequences by falling into a swimming pool and being unable to get out. Always consider securing your investment with a fence or barrier preventing these types of accidents. Additionally, fences or landscape barriers will aid you in keeping you pool cleaner by preventing items from blowing into your pool. This might include branches, grass, shrubbery, garbage, etc. A clean and safe pool is much more fun to experience.
Cellular Phone: When you go on vacation, part of the objective is to get away from the normal distractions of the daily grind; particularly the telephone. When owning a “Backyard Entertainment Center” or a swimming pool, this could be a dangerous and costly mistake. We encourage everyone to invest in a quality cordless telephone so that you can have the ability to contact emergency service agencies for help if needed. It only takes a minute for a problem to happen, and if you have to leave your children poolside to go to the house to answer the telephone, you are inviting disaster. If there is an injury, you will have help at your fingertips without leaving the individual.
First Aid Kit: Kids are always getting bumps and bruises. A first aid kit is always a good investment to make for those boo-boos.
Plastic Glassware: Glass and swimming pools just don’t mix. Broken glass can cause serious injury and when added to pool water, glass becomes virtually invisible to the eye. A very small investment in a shatter resistant beverage service set will save you time and injury.
CPR Training: Everyone owning a pool would be very well served to invest his or her time in CPR training. It is something that is very seldom used, but when there is an accident, it is an invaluable asset to have that could mean the difference between the life and death of someone that you love.
Chemicals: Always store and secure chemicals used for your pools and spas away from access by children. These chemicals are a normal part of pool and spa maintenance, but they can be harmful to children if exposed by contact or ingestion. Keeping these items secure and properly stored will not only extend the life of the chemicals, but will keep you family, guests and friends safer.
Landscaping: Your new swimming pool or spa is the centerpiece of your “Backyard Recreation Center.” As such, you should consider creatively landscaping around this centerpiece in order to not only accent the system, but to add value and functionality to your experience. Careful planning can result in keeping your new pool and spa cleaner, more accessible and more enjoyable to be around.
Lighting: You can creatively add accent lighting to your new Backyard Entertainment Center to both increase safety and to enhance your experience. Proper and creative lighting increases visibility so that you can see what is happening in your pool after hours (perhaps motion sensitive lighting). This will greatly improve safety for those using the pool, as well as your ability to see and respond to any problems that may arise. Lighting also accents your new Backyard Entertainment Center while adding value and beauty to your facility.
Toys: There is nothing better than seeing kids, and adults, having fun. Pool toys are a great accessory to add to your Backyard Entertainment Center. These can include floatation rings, pool games, sports toys and the list goes on. It is always a good idea to offer toys and activities to insure the maximum value experience in your pool or spa system.
Maintenance and Safety Accessories: It is always a good idea to have items such as skimmers, safety floatation devices or other extension devices available poolside. These can provide an immediate response means for surface cleaning or safe assistance to someone in the pool that is having trouble and simply needs a hand!
Alcohol: Drinking and swimming don’t mix. Alcohol impairs judgement, reflexes and bodily systems which can result in bad decision making, injury and worse. Be responsible and a good example for others.
Clutter: Keep your Backyard Entertainment Center free of clutter or objects that can pose potential tripping or falling hazards.
Common Sense: There is no substitution in the prevention of damage or injury than using common sense. Acting responsibly and taking care of your Backyard Entertainment Center, will result in a positive environment, and family fun and recreation for years to come.