"Understanding Your Home" by Building Inspector Mark Visser
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First line of defence!
A:
A pool fence between the house and the pool
B: Gate alarms
Any gate which allows young children easy access to a pool area should have a gate alarm.
Some alarms are equipped with an adult pass through feature that allows adults to use the gate without the alarm sounding.
The alarms are battery operated. Batteries last about a year and should be replaced once a year. The best time to do this is when you replace the batteries for smoke alarms.


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Pool Alarms
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Pool Alarms

The statistics on drownings and near-drownings in Canada and the US are staggering. Pool owners, especially those with young children and grandchildren, should always keep in mind the deadly hazards a pool can pose. About 350 children under 5 years old drown in pools each year and 2,600 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for near-drowning incidents. Most of the cases involve residential pools.
To prevent this tragedy, many pool owners use pool alarms designed to sound a warning if a child falls into the water. Sales of pool alarms have doubled since 1994. A study released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tested the performance of various pool alarm systems.
The CPSC study looked at three types of alarms:
* Floating alarms that detect waves on the surface
* Underwater alarms that detect waves under the surface
* Wristband alarm, which is worn by a child, and alarms when exposed to water.



Test results. Test conducted by The Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that underwater alarms performed the most consistently (with one surface alarm - PoolSOS - performing almost as well). Underwater sensors alarm more consistently and are less likely to false alarm. When a test object, intended to simulate the weight of a small child, was pushed into a pool, the underwater sensors detected it most reliably. The underwater alarms also can be used in conjunction with pool covers, whereas the surface alarms cannot. The wristband device alarmed well but can be impractical because the caregiver must remember to put it on the child, and it alarms when exposed to any water source, such as tap water.
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