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Your Complete Guide to Pool Safety Covers and Pool Safety Tips

Pool Safety Covers and Pool Safety Tips

So you’ve got a swimming pool – a perfect spot for fun, relaxation, and making memories in your own backyard. But many pool owners want to improve their own peace of mind with the investment of pool safety covers to keep their pools from becoming a risk to children or pets. 

Pool safety covers are imperative for preventing unauthorized access to your swimming pool, which reduces the risk of accidental falls. 

Additionally, safety covers help maintain water quality by preventing debris accumulation, ultimately reducing your need for extra-frequent cleaning and chemical treatments (although you should still clean and treat your pool regularly for optimal pool health). 

In this blog, we’re going to tell you the types, benefits, and average costs of pool safety covers.

What are pool safety covers?

Pool safety covers are durable covers designed to be placed over swimming pools whenever the pool is not in use. The primary purpose of a pool safety cover is to enhance safety by preventing accidental falls into the pool, particularly for young children or pets.

Swimming pool safety tips

The Canadian Red Cross encourages all pool owners to have a swimming pool safety plan to make sure your fun space doesn’t turn into a hazard. Some of their recommendations include teaching children how to swim as early as possible, and making sure children understand the “pool rules,” such as: 

  • Don’t run by the pool
  • Always swim with a buddy 
  • No glass containers around the pool
  • And children must have an adult with them near the pool at all times

It’s important to have a pool safety plan when you’re the owner of a backyard swimming pool. To get your safety plan started, consider these tips the Government of Canada has on swimming pool safety: 

  • Supervise children at all times near the swimming pool
  • Build a fence around your swimming pool to ensure no unauthorized access to the pool
  • Keep lifesaving equipment (like a safety ring with rope and first aid kits) near the swimming pool in case of emergencies 
  • Keep the space around the pool clean to avoid tripping, head injuries, and falls into the pool 
  • Keep emergency phone numbers near the phone in case you need support

One way to help ensure that swimming pools are safe, even when you’re not using them, is to install a safety cover.

Types of pool safety covers

Typically, safety covers come in two forms. 

  • Mesh safety covers, which are made from tightly woven mesh material that allows water to drain through while keeping debris out.
  • Solid safety covers, which are solid covers made from vinyl material that completely block sunlight and prevent debris from entering the pool.

These covers can be manual (you open and close the cover yourself) or automatic (see details on automatic pool safety covers below).

Which pool safety covers are better?

There’s no better or worse swimming pool safety cover – the choice is entirely based on your preference, and your budget. 

Mesh safety covers are strong enough to support the weight of a person or a pet, preventing them from falling into the pool while still allowing rainwater and melting snow to pass through. Usually these mesh covers are unrolled to cover the pool, and then wound up along one side of the pool when the pool is in use. 

On the other hand, solid safety covers are typically supported by a system of straps and anchors around the perimeter of the pool. Solid covers provide a barrier that prevents melt or rain water from leaking in, which offers additional safety benefits in terms of water cleanliness and debris accumulation.

Automatic pool safety covers

Automatic pool covers roll on and off the pool with the push of a button. Automatic pool covers are more costly than other inground pool safety covers, usually falling between $8,000 to $20,000, depending on the size of your pool and the brand you purchase. 

The benefits of these pool covers are that they are usually easier to clean because they can come fitted with a mechanism that brushes off debris as they are retracting. Some models even include built-in cleaning systems – but again, these specialty features are likely to cost extra. 

Also Read: See our top tips for a low maintenance pool landscape design that suits your space!

The benefits of swimming pool safety cover

Any type of safety pool covers provide protection not only against accidental drownings but also help to keep the pool clean by preventing leaves, twigs and other debris from entering the water. 

They are typically installed during the off-season when the pool is not in use and can be custom-fitted to various shapes and sizes of pools. 

Additionally, pool safety covers are often required by law in many regions to ensure the safety of pools when they are not actively supervised.

Cleaning pool safety covers

Mesh pool safety covers are usually easier to clean compared to solid covers. Their material allows water to pass through, which means leaves and twigs remain on the surface. Cleaning mesh safety covers usually involves using a leaf blower or a pool cover pump to remove debris from the surface of the cover. 

Solid covers require a bit more effort to clean because they prevent water from passing through. Debris tends to accumulate on the surface of the cover, making it necessary to manually remove it with a broom or a pool cover pump. In some cases, solid covers may need to be partially removed to effectively clean them.

The average cost of pool safety covers

In Ontario, the average cost of mesh pool safety covers usually ranges between $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the size and shape of your swimming pool, as well as the quality of the cover material and installation cost. 

Solid pool safety covers usually have a higher average cost, ranging from between $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the same factors mentioned above. 

These are only ballpark figures. Actual costs may vary based on individual factors and the local market at the time of your search.

Note: the final cost of your safety cover may also include delivery and installation fees.

Latham safety pool covers sold by Boulder Design
Latham safety pool covers sold by Boulder Design

Are pool safety covers required by law?

Swimming pool safety regulations can vary by province and municipality within Canada. In Ontario, regulations regarding swimming pool safety, including the requirement for safety covers, may be enforced at the municipal level rather than provincially. 

Some municipalities in Ontario may have bylaws that mandate the use of safety covers for swimming pools, particularly for inground pools. These bylaws are put in place to ensure the safety of children and pets and to prevent accidental drownings. 

Check in with your local bylaw office to determine whether or not your area requires you to install or use a pool safety cover. They can provide specific information on any requirements or regulations that apply to swimming safety covers.

What are the top 5 reasons people use pool safety covers?

Overall, installing a pool safety cover provides peace of mind for homeowners. The primary reasons that people choose to invest in a pool safety cover are: 

1. Prevention of accidental drownings. A pool safety cover acts as a barrier, preventing unauthorized access to the water, especially for young children or pets who may wander near the pool unsupervised. This significantly reduces the risk of accidental drownings and enhancing overall pool safety. 

2. Compliance with regulations. Certain municipalities in Ontario may require the use of pool safety covers to be in compliance with mandatory pool safety laws and bylaws. Installing a safety cover ensures compliance with these regulations, helping homeowners avoid potential fines and legal issues. 

3. Protection against debris. Pool safety covers effectively keep leaves, branches, dirt, and other debris out of the pool when it’s not in use. This helps maintain water cleanliness, reduces the need for frequent cleaning and maintenance, and prolongs the lifespan of pool equipment such as filters and pumps. 

4. Energy efficiency. Solid safety covers not only prevent debris from entering the pool but also inhibit evaporation in hot, dry climates, reducing water loss and the need for frequent refilling. Additionally, by blocking sunlight, they can help prevent algae growth, reducing the amount of chlorine and other chemicals needed to maintain water quality. 

5. Enhanced aesthetic appeal. Safety covers come in various colours and designs, allowing pool owners to choose a pool safety cover that complements their backyard aesthetic. When not in use, a safety cover can give the pool area a cleaner and more organized appearance compared to traditional methods like tarps or netting.

Investing in a backyard swimming pool

Having a swimming pool installed in your backyard can transform your outdoor space into a personal oasis of rest and recreation. Lazy summer afternoons lounging by the pool, the perfect setting for family hangouts and backyard barbeques, and an aesthetically pleasing space to catch your eye during the dreary winter months – especially if you design your swimming pool area to include custom landscaping. 

There are plenty of health benefits that come from swimming, and fitting your swimming pool with a safety cover can ensure that your swimming pool remains a place of fun, exercise and skill building while minimizing the risk of accidents. 

Check out our swimming pool cost guide to get the details on how to plan, price and purchase your dream backyard pool, and check out some of our completed projects for inspiration on designing your perfect space.

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