Pool alarms add an extra layer to water safety
|Prevention is better than cure goes the age old adage – and nowhere is this more pertinent than in the case of water safety. But even the most stringent efforts to ensure children (and even adults) are safe around water can fail, and that’s when water safety devices come into play.
However, as every parent knows, it only takes a second of distraction for a toddler to disappear - and none of us is perfect. That’s where pool alarms and other water safety devices can provide added peace of mind.
Water Patrol is an Australian-owned family-run business that aims to provide products designed to enhance the layer of protection between a child and a body of water. Director Lyndon Springford says: “We have extensively researched the issue of childhood drownings and near drowning incidents, and have been compelled to provide water safety products that can help provide some of those layers of protection needed.
“With child safety being our number one concern, we know how important it is to make sure your swimming pool fence complies with the current standards, as set out in the Swimming Pools Act 1992. In addition to our range of water safety products, Water Patrol also offers pool safety inspection written reports and pool alarm installation.”
When you consider how much it costs to install and maintain a swimming pool, the cost of a pool alarm is tiny. Water Patrol’s pool alarms start at $199. Systems simply attach to the side of your swimming pool. The electronic sensor detects entry into the pool by children or pets, activating an alarm that sounds both on the unit itself, and also on a wireless remote receiver kept inside the home. Innovative sensing technology ensures the device will only be activated if a weight of 8kg or more enters the pool, reducing the chance of false alarms caused by wind or rain. The alarm sounds at 100dB which is similar to a house alarm.
Of course, if you want to go the whole hog, for $699 the Sensor Espio pool alarm senses pool falls by people that are 8kg or heavier.
The poolside alarm and wireless remote alarm are both activated within seconds when a fall is detected. The Sensor Espio is effective in pools as large as 6m x 15m. While Sensor Espio dependably senses falls, it is not falsely triggered by other routine water disturbances. It uses exclusive Aqua-Sensor sub-surface pulse analysis technology and can distinguish between true sub-surface water disruption and water surface “noise”. The result is minimal false alarms.
The fall detector, when activated, monitors the pool activity permanently. When a body falls in the pool, Sensor Espio analyses the generated underwater wave and triggers its sirens.
When you want to swim, you inform Sensor Espio using the provided remote control and the system will suspend its monitoring while you are swimming. After swimming, once you have left the pool and the pool water has become still again, Sensor Espio will automatically restart its monitoring.
Another worry for parents is when visiting other homes where there is a pool, and that’s where the Child Guard is a great idea. It’s a wristband that acts as a wireless anti-drowning electronic device. It sounds an alarm when the wristband is submerged in water, alerting you of potential danger. It consists of a wireless remote receiver and a fun fish wristband for the child to wear. This acts as the wireless transmitter. The device is suitable to use around any form of water hazard. It has a wireless range of up to 60m in open surrounds and the receiver runs on both mains power and a rechargeable battery. For $149 it’s worth the peace of mind, especially when you can’t control the safety measures of pool areas in other people’s homes.
In your own home, it’s another matter. The Gateminder Gate Alarm is waterproof, wireless and easy to install and operate. It can be installed on timber, steel or glass gates and is activated when the gate is opened by unwanted visitors or it is left open.
Pool safety checklist
• Competent supervision is the best prevention against drowning
• Children should always be supervised when in or around water
• Teach your children to swim from an early age
• Make sure your pool or spa has a compliant fence and a childproof locking gate
• Don’t leave furniture or items accessible that children can climb onto access the pool or spa
• Display a resuscitation chart and complete a First Aid and CPR course so you will know what to do in case of an emergency
• Always keep your pool clean so you can see the bottom of it
• Water mats, lifesaver rings, inflatable vests and water wings need to conform to the relevant Australian Standard