With pool season coming soon now, Hines Pool & Spa wants to remind all our customers to be vigilant for some of the major 'hidden dangers' in your backyard pool. There are three big ones to watch out for: improper sanitation/ poor hygiene, swimming accidents and exposure to electrical shock.
The spread of disease and imbalance of pool chemicals are factors that must be considered. Pools are home to hundreds of swimmers every day and can be a major breeding ground for germs.
Improperly treated pools can still be a hazard. That heavy 'chemical smell' you notice in some pools often indicates the presence of chloramines,- a mix of chlorine and contaminants, that may have formed in the water. Chloramines actually indicate there's not enough chlorine in the water.
Let's Keep It Clean
- Don't swim when you have diarrhea. You can spread germs in the water and make other people sick.
- After reading (A), there we probably don't have to over-emphasize this one, but don't swallow the pool water.
- Have a bath before pool bathing. Practice good hygiene. Germs on your body end up in the water.
- Teach your children the alternate spelling to "Pool", which is 'ool'. Point out that the "pee" is missing and ask them to help keep it that way!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning; about 80 percent of drowning accidents are male. Drowning ranks fifth among the causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Main factors that lead to drowning risk are:
- Lack of swimming ability
- Lack of pool security (fences, gates, close adult supervision)
- Failure to wear flotation devices
- Alcohol use
- Seizure disorders
- Electrical Shock
In May of 2013, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Red Cross released a study that claimed that there had been 60 deaths and nearly 50 serious shocks reported over the previous 13 years involving electrical hazards in and around swimming pools, spas and hot tubs. With this in mind, we advise our customers to have an electrician check for:
- Faulty underwater lighting
- Aging electrical wiring that hasn't been inspected in years
- Use of sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums that aren't properly grounded
Be sure to perform safety-checks on your pool lighting's transformer to ensure proper ground. If your pool was built before 1984, it was probably wired with a full 120 volts of electricity going to their lights. We recommend that you hire an electrician to change that system over to a 12-volt system. A 12-volt power system for pool lighting uses a transformer to "step down" a potentially deadly 120 volts to just 12. Then, obviously, you want to make sure it is well grounded. You want to make sure that the wiring from the switch to the transformer to the light has a continuous ground, and with pool lights it has to be an independent grounding system, separate from the rest of the home's electrical system. We can't emphasize this enough - get yourself a licensed electrician to perform this critical work!