Swimming Pool Alarms And The Risks They Pose

The statistics regarding pool drowning and near pool drowning events are simply shocking. Drowning is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in the United States, claiming 4,000 lives annually. Approximately one third of victims are children under the age of fourteen. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children under the age of fifteen. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. A swimming pool is fourteen times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child four years old and under. For every child who drowns, four are hospitalized for near drowning. An estimated 5,000 children ages fourteen and under are hospitalized due to near drowning each year; 15 percent of those children die in the hospital and as many as 20 percent suffer severe, permanent neurological disability. Lastly, of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning, and 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less.

Against the forgoing backdrop, if a pool alarm is alleged to have failed, how can an alarm company be responsible for this incident, regarding the in- juries or death sustained by a child? Before you take on the duty to design and install a pool alarm system, it is a critically important function of this task to thoroughly warn the subscriber up front and in writing about what the system can do and, most importantly, what it cannot do.

Regardless of the methodology used, such as programming the rear doors leading to the pool area on a “chime” zone, or adding a second set of contacts on the doors for detection, the risk is extremely high. Undoubtedly, if a child were to exit through one of the doors undetected, the consequences in all likelihood would be catastrophic.

Excerpt taken from, The Alarm Science Manual, by Jeffrey Zwirn! For more on security visit JeffreyZwirn.com!