Do You Need a Pool Safety Alarm?

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It's horrible to think about, but drowning happens to children much more often than people realize. It takes only two minutes to drown, and a child can enter the water without making a sound. Two minutes—that's 120 seconds. Do you need a pool safety alarm?

State and Local Laws

Before you decide how you're going to make your pool area safe, find out about local and state legislation that may require you to erect fencing or install a pool alarm. Contact your local and state health departments to ask about pool safety laws in your area.

You can always do more than the bare minimum of what your local and state laws require, however. Some laws may require only that you post a sign, which isn't a very effective way to safeguard your pool.

A no diving sign beside a pool

Other Safety Measures

Consider all of your options and take as many precautions as you can to prevent accidents.

Pool covers

Put a cover on the pool any time the pool is not in use, not just during the off-season or when the pool will not be in use for several days. Get a sturdy cover that can support the weight of a small child.


A fence with a gate is a very effective way to keep children from wandering close to the pool by accident. Install a gate alarm so you know when the gate is being opened. These devices are easy to find and install, and range from models that emit a simple chime to those that sync with your smartphone to alert you directly.

Non-Slip Decking

Install non-slip decking or rubber around your pool to help prevent accidental falls.

Water Safety Alarm

For an approach centered on the person most at risk, you can put a water safety alarm on your child when you're in an area with a pool or a natural body of water. These simple wristbands work in both salt and fresh water, and trigger an alarm sound when the device gets wet.

Pool Alarms

Pool alarms come in both in-ground and above-ground options. They typically feature tamper-proof designs, and are usually easy to install. Most use motion sensors to determine when someone has entered the water. When movement is detected, a loud alarm will sound to alert you that the surface of the water has been breached. Mounting hardware is typically included.

A side-mounted pool alarm

The alarm can be switched into a sleep mode so it won't make any loud noises while swimmers are enjoying the water. Pool alarms are waterproof and weatherproof, and many of the newest designs are built to ignore common causes of false alarms, such as strong winds and falling branches.

So, do you need a pool safety alarm? With young children around, there is no such thing as too much safety. The more you can do to keep your pool area safe and prevent potentially fatal accidents, the better. Pool alarms are becoming increasingly affordable and simple to install, making them a great way to protect children, pets, and elderly people on your property.