Pool Alarm Side

Pool safety should be a top priority for any home with a swimming pool. Tragically, drowning remains one of the leading causes of unintentional death for children ages 0 to 4 in Australia, according to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2021. While supervision is essential, adding a pool alarm system provides protection and peace of mind.

But with a variety of pool alarm options now available, from perimeter alarms to wearable wristband designs, choosing the right system can get confusing. Pool alarms vary in detection methods, range, features, and reliability. What works well for one pool shape or setting may not suit another. It’s important to understand the pros and cons of the different types to select an effective pool alarm for your needs and budget.

This article compares key varieties of pool alarms on the market today. Learn how each system works, as well as its detection capabilities, limitations, costs, ease of installation, and more.

Perimeter/Barrier Pool Alarms: Monitoring the Pool’s Edge for Entry

Perimeter, or barrier, pool alarms work by creating an invisible trip barrier around the pool’s perimeter. Sensors are installed around the pool’s edge, either on the coping or decking, and detect disturbances in the barrier when anyone or anything breaks the beam. This system offers passive protection that constantly monitors the pool’s perimeter for unauthorised entry 24/7.

These pool alarms use digital spread spectrum or frequency modulation technology with a wireless transmitter and receiver. The sensors emit intermittent radio frequency signals back and forth to each other, establishing the barrier. The alarm is triggered if the signal is interrupted by someone falling into the pool.

Pool Perimetre

Perimeter pool alarms are wireless and fairly simple to install, as no digging or wiring around the pool is required. Many systems provide extra range extenders to cover larger pool expanses. Some perimeter alarms also offer WiFi connectivity, enabling remote monitoring via a smartphone app.

False alarms are infrequent with properly installed perimeter barrier systems. Wind and debris do not affect the sensors like pressure alarms. These alarms are less likely to be ignored since they only activate when the protected zone is breached.

For maximum safety, pool experts often recommend layering a perimeter alarm with other systems like gate alarms. This provides full protection of the pool area and any access points. Consult with pool builders to determine optimal perimeter alarm sensor placement and find the best model for your pool’s unique specifications. Investing in this sophisticated monitoring technology adds a key layer of security.

Gate Alarms: Detecting Unsecured Access Points

Gate alarms work by detecting the opening of a pool gate and triggering an alarm if the gate is left ajar. This type of alarm is designed to be installed on the gate surrounding the pool area to prevent unsupervised access.

Gate alarms use magnetic contacts between the gate and post that separate when the gate opens. The alarm is activated once separated for more than 10-15 seconds. A siren sounds to alert adults, and flashing strobe lights indicate an open gate. Alarm duration settings are adjustable from continuous to a minute or more.

With a limited 1-3 foot detection range, these alarms are ideal for monitoring swing gates, sliding gates, and doors leading to the pool. They effectively notify adults if a child wanders through an unlatched gate and ensure gates are re-secured. Some systems allow you to disable the alarm with a keypad code for scheduled pool access.

Consider pairing gate alarms with larger perimeter pool systems for full protection. Detecting a gate breach in time could prevent an accident and give you peace of mind.

Pool Alarm Installation

Pressure and Motion Alarms: Sensing Vibrations and Waves

Pressure and motion-detecting pool alarms use sensors that measure waves and pressure disturbances in the water. When a swimmer enters the pool, the movement and waves created trigger the alarm. These alarms float in the pool and are designed to detect even small changes in water activities.

Pressure pool alarms use a diaphragm sensor encased in the floating unit. Weight or motion in the pool compresses the diaphragm, activating the alarm via an electronic mechanism. Similarly, motion alarms use a weighted pendulum that tips to touch a contact point and sound the alarm when disturbed.

The detection range is typically only 3 to 5 feet surrounding the floating alarm unit itself. This makes these alarms most practical for small pools, spas, or shallow sections that can be covered by one alarm. Larger pools may require multiple units for full protection.

A downside is pressure and motion alarms are prone to false alarms from wind, rainfall, or debris falling into the pool. Frequent false alarms often lead to the alarm being ignored or turned off.

While range-limited, pressure/motion alarms can serve as a supplemental layer with larger perimeter or wearable alarms. But false alarms frustrate many owners. Carefully weighing the pros and cons determines if this style of pool alarm will meet your family’s needs.

Wearable/Wristband Alarms: Tracking Swimmers In and Around Pools

Wearable pool alarms are designed as a waterproof wristband worn by swimmers. This unique style of alarm protects by detecting when the wristband becomes submerged in water and immediately triggers an alarm. The alarm sounds locally from the wristband to alert the swimmer and from a separate base station to notify adults.

These lightweight wristbands use conductive metal electrodes to sense water. Some models can even detect water immersion when not worn on the wrist, such as if a child still has it in their pocket when entering the pool.

Wristbands are paired to a base station mounted poolside, with a typical maximum range of 30 feet between the band and station. This limits the area protected to the radius around the base station, which is usually suitable for smaller backyard pools.

When an alarm is triggered, some bands provide additional safety features. For example, bands can flashlights or vibrate first to notify kids before the audible alarm sounds. A few models even use radio frequency technology to pinpoint the swimmer’s location around the pool.

While range-limited, these innovative alarms provide protection even when a pool lacks other compatible alarm systems. However, false alarms can occur occasionally when bathing or in heavy rain.

Wearable wristband alarms offer affordable peace of mind for active swimmers and younger children. The alarm stays with the swimmer, adding a layer of mobile protection and tracking capability other systems lack.

Swimmers Pool

Choosing the Right Pool Alarm System for Your Needs

With an overview of the various pool alarm options, it’s time to evaluate your family’s needs and pool setup to select the right system or combination. Key factors to consider include:

  • Pool size and shape - Larger or custom pools may require multiple units or perimeter sensors for full coverage. Wearable bands limit the distance from the base station.

  • Outdoor or indoor pool - Outdoor pools contend with weather and wildlife for false alarms. Indoor pools may have loud echoes.

  • Ease of installation - DIY or professional installation? Perimeter and wearable systems are the simplest to install.

  • Detection range needed - Only a few feet for pressure alarms vs 30-50 feet for perimeter alarms.

  • False alarm rate - Pressure and motion alarms are prone to more false alarms.

Layering multiple pool alarm systems can provide the most comprehensive protection. A perimeter alarm secures the entire pool edge, gate alarms monitor access points, and wearable bands track swimmers.

Selecting the Best Pool Alarm System for Your Family and Pool

Nothing can replace diligent supervision, but pool alarms provide a critical extra layer of protection against accidental drownings. With various alarm systems available, from economical gate alarms to sophisticated wearable wristbands, selecting the right solution involves carefully weighing detection capabilities, range, false alarm rates, and budget.

Layering multiple complementary alarms enhances security around your pool for all swimmers. Kids will also appreciate having alarms that alert them when entering unsupervised. Discuss your pool’s specifications and layout with reputable professionals like The Pool Co to identify ideal pool alarm options to protect your loved ones. Contact us today to learn more about equipping your pool with the latest life-saving alarm technology.

Related Articles

Complete Guide Pool Heating
Complete Guide To Pool Heating

Gas, electric or solar - which pool heating system is right for you? This guide compares the efficiency, cost and suitability of different swimming pool heating options to help you decide.

Read More

Maintain Indoor Pool
How To Maintain Your Indoor Pool

Learn effective maintenance tips to keep your indoor pool clean and safe for swimming. This guide covers pool cleaning checklists, water chemistry balancing, and filter cleaning schedules. Discover how to properly sanitise and maintain optimal water conditions so you and your family can enjoy sparkling swimming year-round in the comfort of your home.

Read More

Pool Deck Ideas
Pool Deck Ideas

Learn how to design the perfect pool deck for your backyard pool. This guide covers pool deck materials like wood, concrete and tile, plus deck shapes, placement ideas, lighting and privacy options. Get pool deck design inspiration and expert tips to create a gorgeous outdoor living space.

Read More