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Pool Alarms

    Pool alarms are a great safety device for keeping your family safe around a swimming pool. They offer yet another tool in the safety toolbox and can alert an adult that a child (or a pet) has gained access to the pool without supervision.

    Anyone who has cared for a small child knows that they move fast - sometimes it seems like they can be three places at once! One minute they're beside you drinking lemonade on the porch, the next minute they're playing with the dog in the back yard, and the next minute...they may be in the swimming pool.

    A pool alarm is designed for just such a scenario. They can be activated at times when the swimming pool should not be in use, so that any disturbance in the water is detected and announced.

    There are several types of pool alarms available, and each has it's advantages, limitations and drawbacks. You should evaluate each type to determine which one best fits your needs. In some cases, more than one type of pool alarm, or even all three types can be employed to offer you an additional layer of protection against a family tragedy.

Different Types of Pool Alarms

    Sub-surface disturbance detector - this type of pool alarm is mounted on the side of the pool, below the surface of the water. It monitors the pressure waves that are created by water movement within the pool. Several models are available - one that utilizes a magnetic float and sensor, and one that uses a pressure-sensitive switch to activate the alarm when a disturbance is detected. A child who falls into the pool or a pet frantically paddling for his life will set off the pool alarm, alerting adults of an emergency.

    Surface Wave Sensor Alarm - this alarm floats on the surface of the water and monitors the wave action of the water. It is equipped with 2 contacts, one of which is below the surface of the water, and one above. Wave action on the water's surface closes the circuit between the two contacts, activating the alarm. The sensitivity on this type of alarm can be increased or decreased by moving one contact higher or lower.

    Wristband Alarm - this type of alarm is worn on the wrist as a sort of personal protection device. The wristband pool alarm is water-sensitive, and it can only be removed with a key. This type of pool alarm does offer one more level of safety, but it has it's drawbacks. The wristband alarm can be set off by a child while washing their hands, putting their hands in mom's dishwater, or going outside in the rain. False alarms are common with this type of device, so it's sort of like "the boy who cried wolf". Parents and supervising adults cannot become complacent about investigating every time the alarm sounds.

You should evaluate each type of pool alarm and decide which of them best fits your needs. As for me, I'd opt for all might seem like overkill, but as I see it, each type of pool alarm operates on a different form of detection. One detects surface disturbance, one detects underwater disturbance, and one detects water in general. Can you ever be too safe when it comes to your family and pets?


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