Swimming Pool Covers
A swimming pool cover is a must-have for many reasons.
- It keeps out debris during the many months of the year when the pool isn't in use.
- It keeps in heat and prevents excessive water vaporization.
- Safety pool covers are an important safety component when there are young children on the premises.
There are different pool covers to serve different needs. If there will be absolutely no young children around or if there is already a safety gate enclosing a pool, then a safety pool cover may not be needed, but a solar cover still might. An automatic pool cover may be a nice convenience, or you may want to choose one that you remove yourself in order to save money if you don't use the pool all that often. Here are the different pool cover available:
Solar and Winter Swimming Pool Covers
These thin covers are usually on a reel system. The blue cover unspools from the reel to cover the pool surface like a skin. This basically insulates the pool to help keep it warm and helps keep debris out. However, it is not a safety device, and in fact tumbling into a thin cover can cause a person to drown more readily, since they may become entangled.
Safety Covers for Swimming Pools
These come in different styles, some flexible, some solid. It's an important aspect of pool safety, so you'll want to do careful research on which one is best for you. However, nothing is a substitute for supervision, and even though each pool safety cover advertises how it will keep kids out, it's important to watch your children closely when they're around the pool.
An automatic system uses heavy grade fabric that goes over the pool. It also acts as a solar cover. However, it is safer than a reel system because it is attached on all sides. Therefore, if you stand or fall on it, it stays put with no gaps. It has the added advantage of being accessible with the push of a button.
A company called LOOP-LOC features an ad with a baby elephant standing on their flexible pool cover. It uses stainless steel springs, double thick straps, and double perimeter webbing for maximum strength. The cover is pinioned all around the pool and is manually removed. A GAPGUARD Child Safety Intrusion barrier ensures there are no gaps between the cover and the sides of the pool, so kids and pets can't slip in through the edges.
There are also mesh covers available. Loops should be small enough that a toddler's head can't slip through. These are also secured by anchors on all sides of the pool. Usually kids younger than twelve can't get the pool unsecured, but there are always exceptions.
Less common are hard covers for swimming pools, like the kind used to cover spas. These are usually only available for small swimming pools.
Remember, a pool cover is only one layer of safety. Multiple barriers are the best bet: an alarm for the door, a fence for the pool, a safety cover on that. That gives the parent time to find the child before he can actually access the water.