6 Home Improvements to Make Your Pool Safer

Having a pool means weekends relaxing and summer evenings entertaining. Not to mention yours will be the most popular kids in the neighborhood. But a pool also comes with safety risks--and additional homeowners insurance fees. Luckily there are some things you can do to make your pool less of a liability.

  1. Fence and locked gate: A fence with a locked gate is an easy way to make sure your kids and animals aren’t swimming when you’re not around. Before you decide on a fence style, check with your local and state laws. Lots of areas have laws about how high your fence has to be, what materials it should be made out of, and how far apart the slats are. You should also check with your homeowner's association. They might have a whole other set of rules about your fence.

  2. The non-slip surface around edges: There was a reason the lifeguard was always blowing his whistle when you ran around the pool growing up. The edges of a pool are usually a little smoother than the concrete around it. Which makes it easy to slip and get seriously hurt if you’re running around. Putting a non-slip surface will help prevent that. Your nearby home improvement or pool store will probably sell a coating you can paint right onto the cement.

  3. Lock away chemicals: Lots of pool owners choose to hire a professional to come regularly and take care of the pool’s chemicals. But if you keep any pool chemicals at your house, you’ll want to make sure they’re locked away. Invest in a metal cabinet or box and a good quality lock.

  4. Automatic rigid pool covers: Covering your pool not only keeps out any unwanted swimmers, but it also keeps your pool cleaner, prevents water from evaporating, and keeps the pool warm. Going for a rigid option means even if your child walks out on to the surface, they’re not going to sink down or get wet. These can set you back to the tune of $5,000 to $15,000, so you might want to consider a HELOC to pay for it.

  5. Underwater motion alarm: Even if something goes wrong with the automatic pool cover, you’ll still know if your child or pet jumped in while you weren’t looking if you have an alarm. That can be a big peace of mind, especially if you have small children in your home or neighborhood.

  6. Drain covers: Drains are great for keeping your pool clean, but they can be a pretty big safety risk too. A drain can create enough suction to trap a person or animal against it. So good drain covers are a definite must-have. You should also know where your electrical and pump controls are so you can quickly turn them off in case of an emergency.

Homes with pools are also notoriously hard to sell. Lots of buyers will ask you to fill it before they buy because they don’t want to deal with the safety risk that their home owners insurance doesn't cover or upkeep costs. But if you take the time to make your pool a little safer you might just be making it worthwhile for a buyer.