The Pool Safety Bible

(list of chapters and sample text only - no images)

Copyright 2015 Ken Walker

Published by Ken Walker

The Pool Safety Bible eBook is completely free.

We want as many people as possible to benefit from our years of experience in the Pool Industry so please feel free to pass this information to as many people as you wish.

Thank you for downloading this EBook. Although you are more than welcome to download your copy The Pool Safety Bible it remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be reproduced, copied and distributed for commercial  purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy here or from other links scattered throughout this eBook. Thank you for your support.

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Ken Walker

Note: - If you are fortunate enough to live in Spain or Portugal, we can supply and install any and all Pool Safety Equipment to your pool, or supply DIY systems throughout Europe and the wider world.

On the Costa del Sol we offer a full pool service - design, build, care and maintenance, repairs, upgrades and reforms.

Please visit us at PoolSafetySpain.


Hello, and welcome to The Pool Safety Bible.

Are you aware that drowning is the #3 cause of death of children under five years of age in the USA? And the leading cause of death in some states such as California, Florida and Arizona, where there are more than the average percentage of properties with private pools?

Thousands of people are hospitalized every year for injuries sustained in or around pools: - electrocution, chemical burns, poisoning, slips, falls, fractures and permanent brain damage feature among the list of pool-related accidents, in addition to death by drowning.

Countless numbers of people become ill after swimming due to incorrect or inadequate sanitation or incorrect storage, handling or application of chemicals. Swimmers can be blighted with anything from ear infections, ‘the runs’, chemical burns - right up to Legionnaires Disease. Some of these people die.

We’re trying to do something about these horrendous figures by gifting The Pool Safety Bible to as many people as possible. Enough cannot be said or read on the subject of Pool Safety.

The Pool Safety Bible is not solely for people who own pools - it’s for anyone who uses a pool, lives near, or visits, areas with open water like rivers, swimming holes, lakes and the ocean. Knowing what to do in an emergency can save vital seconds - and seconds save lives.

Inside this EBook you’ll find 40 different aspects of Pool Safety covered in detail. You’ll learn how to make your pool the safest place it can possibly be, discover the root cause of 50% of backyard pool deaths; and how to safeguard your family and friends.

The Pool Bible Advertorial. (We all need to eat!)

The Pool Bible, my informative eBook for backyard pool owners, is also available from Smashwords. Nobody likes parting with hard cash but there are good reasons why you should invest in a copy of The Pool Bible: -

Look at it this way - When you call a Professional Pool Technician to your pool you will get a bill for at least the call-out charge. Currently, this runs an absolute minimum of $30 - £30 or €30 depending on where you live in the world.

That’s a minimum of six times the price of The Pool Bible - and for the call-out charge you’ll have the Professional on-site for around 30 minutes - if you’re lucky.

Then you’ll get a bill for any extra time spent on-site, plus any additional work the Professional does, and you’ll also pay full retail for spare parts and consumables. Your Pool Pro might even sell you a $25 pool chemical that you can get at the hardware store for $2.50. (The only difference being that the $2.50 variety is ‘food grade’ and purer than the $25 pool chemical.)

Has your pool ever needed the attention of a Pool Pro? Most pools have at some point but if your pool has not needed such attention yet; don’t feel left out because it will one day!

When it does - Professional Services don’t come cheap. (One California-based Pool Service company proudly advertises a call-out charge of ‘only’ $65 and labour charges of ‘just’ $80 per hour. I do wonder what their out-of-hours rates are.)

If you have your pool cleaned by the local Pool Guy you’ll be shelling out a minimum of $1500 to $2000 a year, plus chemicals. Servicing and seasonal work like winterising, acid-washing, etc. are extras and must be paid for in addition to the cleaning charges. Ouch. Taking care of your own pool could reduce running costs by 90%.

I’m not suggesting that there is any sort of rip-off or scam going on; Pool Service companies in general do a great job at a fair price. Call in a Professional and you’ll get the service you want, perfectly executed, 99.9% of the time. It will cost you, though. These guys are Professionals and they charge for their time accordingly.

They do this because they have 2 things that the average backyard pool-owner doesn’t have - Overheads and Specialist Knowledge! Their Overheads mean that they have to charge a high hourly-rate and their Specialist Knowledge is the reason that they can!

Why not go absolutely crazy and buy yourself a copy of The Pool Bible? It costs about 0.5% of the annual running costs of an average pool and will save any pool-owner a small fortune. Every year.

The Pool Bible teaches you how to do things for yourself at huge savings. Armed with the knowledge of how to carry out 99% of operations to your own pool, including detailed information for cleaning and dosing, with instructions for making repairs, coupled with knowing where to source trade-price spares and how to get discounts on chemicals, etc., you’ll avoid wasting sacks of money that could be better spent elsewhere.

When you download The Pool Bible you’ll have the benefit of our decades of experience and advice on hand - anytime you need it – right there in your hands.

You’ll have the Specialist Knowledge to clean, service and maintain your own pool (or all the pools in the neighbourhood if you want to get into the pool business! And you’ll also have the un-spent Pros’ callout charges, which you can spend on candy and comics, if you want).

All this for the price of a Big Mac and fries? If that’s not a bargain - I don’t know what is! Download your copy of The Pool Bible here and swim safe.

Thanks, Ken Walker

The Pool Safety Bible - chapters 

NOTE: - the links below are inactive but the eBook itself is fully navigable.

General Pool Safety

Safety Statistics

Safety Liability

Pool Chemicals - Safety issues

Chemical Accidents

Diving & Slides

Ladders & Steps


Pool Rules for Adults

Safety Tips

Suction Outlets

Pool Safety Equipment

Broken Glass

Wasps and other insect nuisances

Kids Section

Safety for Kids

Pool Rules for Kids

Babysitters and Pools

Shallow Water Blackout The #1 root cause of backyard pool deaths

Swimming Lessons

Pool Games for Kids

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR Courses

Holidays and New Homes

Safety Checklist

Pool Alarms

Pool Safety Barriers

Pond and Garden - Water Safety

Paying for Safety Equipment

Safety for Pets

General Pool Safety

While a pool can be many things to many people, some benefits are universal. By enjoying a backyard pool, homeowners improve their health and fitness, release and eliminate stress, and create a vibrant atmosphere for special occasions and family fun. Overall, pool ownership is a lifestyle change and definitely one for the better you don't have to leave home to escape the rat race. A pool gives opportunities to encourage togetherness or to appreciate quiet moments alone.

Most health professionals agree: - swimming is the single most beneficial exercise activity for your whole body; being stress-free for joints and limbs. Improved self-confidence and a positive attitude-change are also significant parts of the pool exercise package. Pool aerobics are a preventative, therapeutic activity and a cardiovascular conditioner, particularly for those with arthritis and other disabilities.

The more often you swim the longer you’ll live”, according to 2 studies of more than 335,000 people by Jeremiah Stamler MD, a heart-disease researcher from Northwestern University in Chicago, who estimates you may add 10 years to your life by swimming every day.

Your own private, backyard pool can transform the most ordinary occasion into a special event. You can readily imagine some of the occasions around your pool; parties, barbeques, college reunions and quiet gatherings of friends or just relaxing.

With colorful decorations, tasty food and music to fit the mood, your pool parties will create memories that will last a lifetime. The possibilities are practically endless. And what better place to entertain your kids and their friends than safe at home, in your own backyard pool?

Keeping safe around the pool

Pools are very dangerous places. You should be aware that your pool is a potentially life-threatening hazard and plan to make it the safest place it can be. Nobody ever thinks that a tragedy like drowning is going to happen to one of their family but pool-owners - and anyone else who uses a pool - should all plan to prevent one by paying attention to Pool Safety and by installing 'Layers of Protection'.

Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of death of children under five years of age in the USA, and the leading cause of death in some states such as California, Florida and Arizona (where there are more than the average percentage of properties with private pools). Enough cannot be said or read on the subject of Pool Safety.

Over 280 under-fives drown each year in private pools and spas in the USA. In Spain 80 to 100 kids aged 1-4 drown every year. More than 85 percent of drowning deaths among children ages 1 to 4 are pool-related, yet many parents do not consider drowning to be a realistic threat to the lives of their children. The following few words might change their minds: -

'A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under'. (Orange County, California, Fire Authority)

According to the USPS Commission “An estimated 3,000 children under age five, and an even greater number of adults, are treated in US hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents each year.” A percentage of these submersion accidents result in permanent brain damage.

In the USA a high percentage of married couples who have suffered the fatal drowning of a child end their relationships in an acrimonious divorce. Additionally, in almost all of these tragic cases the family feel the need to move home, even if their relationship does manage to survive.

Children must be constantly supervised when swimming this is one of the most important aspects of Pool Safety. The more people in or around the pool, the more supervision is necessary. You must assign one person who is dedicated to watching the children, and if that person leaves the pool area, they must pass the duty to another responsible adult (a sober adult who can swim and has learned CPR)

Swimming lessons provide an excellent opportunity for kids to become self-confident in the pool, but the ability to swim is not a guarantee against drowning. Kids of all ages constantly test their abilities and try out new tricks. An accident can happen at any time and once again supervision by a responsible adult is key to pool-safety.

Pool water must be completely protected whilst not in use to prevent drowning with a Safety Cover, Security Fence, or a Safety Net. In the USA, Australia and France, to name but a few examples, every pool must be protected by a fence, cover or safety net by law. In many other countries there is a legal requirement to protect any pool that is not 'for the exclusive use of one family or household'.

This means that all Community pools, all pools at properties that are rented to holidaymakers or tourists, and all private pools where guests are invited along for a swim must have a safety barrier by law.

Teach and enforce basic Pool Rules for Kids (and also for Adults) and always, always include the following: -

No eating, drinking, running or glassware in or near the pool.

No Hyperventilating at the pool - ever.

No diving from the side of an in-ground pool - enter the water feet first.

No swimming or diving if you’ve taken alcohol or drugs - your reactions will be slowed.

ABSOLUTELY no diving into above-ground pools; they are too shallow.

ABSOLUTELY no swimming during a thunderstorm.

Keeping safe around water is not difficult to do; making your pool a safe place needs some planning, some forethought and a lot of vigilance. Click on the links in the Pool Safety index to read about how you can make your pool safe and avoid accidents.

Pool Safety Index

Safety Statistics

The following information is horrifying but true.

80 -100 kids aged between 1 and 4 drown in Spain's pools every year.

More than 30 kids died in Portugal in 2011, almost 60 in Italy in 2010.

More than 280 children under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools each year in the USA.

An estimated 2,100 children were treated in hospital EDs in 2005 for 'pool submersion' injuries.

• In 2005, 17 drowning deaths involving inflatable pools were reported in the USA.

77% of drowning victims are missing for under 5 minutes.

Almost 70% of drowning victims were not seen near the pool before the incident occurred.

From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 unintentional fatal drowning accidents involving persons across all ages (non-boating related) annually in the United States; about ten deaths every single day.

About one in five people who die from drowning are children aged 4 and younger.

• For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department hospital care for non-fatal submersion injuries.

More than 50% of drowning victims treated in Emergency Departments (EDs) require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all other unintentional injuries).

These non-fatal drowning injuries frequently cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).

62% of parents whose child has drowned in a private pool end their marriages in divorce.

• Over 80% of families feel the need to move house after a death in their backyard pool.

Who is most at risk?

Males - Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.

Children aged 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.

In 2009, among all children who died from an unintentional injury , more than 30% of the 1 to 4 year-olds died from drowning.

In the age group of kids ages 1-to-4, most drowning deaths occur in home swimming pools.

• Drowning is the #2 cause of death among under 4's; more than any cause except birth defects (congenital anomalies).

Among those aged 1-14, drowning remains the #2 cause of unintentional death behind motor vehicle crashes.

Minorities: -Between 2005 and 2009, the fatal unintentional drowning rate for African Americans was significantly higher than that of whites across all ages.

The above disparity is widest among children 5-14 years old.

• The death-rate by drowning of African-American children aged 5 15 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.

What factors influence drowning risk?

Swimming pool access, whether or not a child can swim, and choice of water-related recreational activities all contribute to the racial differences in drowning rates. The main factors that affect drowning risk are lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming, location, drug and alcohol use and seizure disorders.

Lack of Swimming Ability

Many adults and children can’t swim, yet research has shown that learning to swim greatly reduces the risk of drowning among all age ranges, including adults. No surprises there, then! It’s good to know our taxes are being spent on discovering new, unexpected things. Ensure that your non-swimming family members get swimming lessons.

Lack of Safety Barriers

Pool Fencing, Covers or Nets prevent young children from gaining access to the pool.

A four-sided isolation fence (separating the pool area from the house and yard) reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83% compared to three-sided ‘property-line’ fencing.

Lack of Close Supervision

Drowning can happen quickly and quietly anywhere there is water, such as play-pools, swimming pools, deep puddles, bath tubs and buckets, and even in the presence of lifeguards.

Everyone who uses the pool is at risk and should be supervised by a competent adult.


People of different ages drown in different locations.

For example, most drowning fatalities of children ages 1 4 occur in home swimming pools.

The percentage of drowning accidents in natural water settings, including lakes, rivers and oceans, increases with age.

Over 50% of fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents among those older than 15 years occur in natural water settings.

Alcohol and Drug use

Alcohol influences balance, coordination and judgment, and the effects are heightened by sun and heat. Drug usage does the same, only more so! Mixing alcohol, drugs, sunshine and water is a very bad idea. Among adolescents and adults, alcohol and/or drug use is involved in over: -

70% of deaths associated with water recreation.

Almost 25% of Hospital visits for drowning.

• About 20%.of reported boating deaths.

Seizure Disorders

For persons with seizure disorders, across all ages, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional injury death.

Pool Safety Index

Safety Liability

Many countries have introduced regulations on the subject of Pool Safety in backyard pools. Generally these laws specify a fence or other barrier to the water, with detailed specifications on height, self-closing gates, child-proof locks and catches, no-climb zones (within a certain distance of the fence): -and promising dire consequences if these regulations are not strictly adhered to.

For example; all pools in Queensland, Australia, needed to be registered by 4 November 2011. There was no charge for listing a pool on the Register. However, failure to register a pool could incur a fine of up to A$2000. Then of course the local authority would come and inspect the pool and probably issue another fine for' non-compliance'.


The maximum penalty that can be imposed by a (Queensland) court for pool safety offences is A$16,500 for individuals or A$82,500 for corporations. Looked at in a slightly skewed way, the fines just about qualify as a 'Stupidity Tax’.

The regulations are there for the safety and security of all people who might fall into your pool and drown, whether they have been invited to the property or not. Even someone who is robbing your house has a 'right' to this level of protection! It beggars belief but it's true. This group of uninvited guests also includes the 'naughty-neighbour-kids' who sneak in for a crafty dip whilst you're out at the supermarket, door-to-door canvassers, the occasional escaped horse, etc. In Law, if you have no Safety Barrier in place you could be held to be negligent and be made to pay accordingly if someone falls in your pool.

Many countries do not always physically inspect the pools the relevant authorities just take the word of the person registering the pool, or they don't get round inspect to the property for months or even years which leaves the system open to abuse.

Some people will go to any lengths to avoid parting with money or obeying 'Nanny-State Rules' designed for their 'own safety'. You just need to remember public resistance to compulsory wearing of car seat-belts, despite widespread public knowledge that seat-belts saved lives, to see the truth of this. Also, of course, some folks who have misinterpreted the Regulations, or have relied heavily on their own, largely imaginary, DIY skills will report that their pool is compliant with current laws when, in fact, it is not.

Any occurrence of an accident at your pool is likely to be investigated by the Police or other relevant authorities and, if the pool does not comply with Safety Regulations, you are wide open to officially imposed fines and privately brought lawsuits.

Whether your actions are guided by economics or conscience installing a Pool Safety Barrier is a MUST-DO.

Think about this for a moment or two: - Having a Safety Barrier to guard your swimming pool is both a legal and a moral issue. If someone is injured, or even worse is drowned, in your pool you can be sued for everything you own. You can be held financially responsible for fatal and non-fatal accidents, and insurance premiums are likely to be much higher after any accident if you can get cover at all. There are specialist lawyers in places like California who chosen field of expertise is pool and spa accidents; both for the prosecution and defence sides of the lawsuit. I bet they don't work cheap!

However, financial penalties are as nothing when compared to the knowledge that your pool was the site of a terrible, predictable and avoidable accident. You would have to live with that responsibility and guilt for a long, long time.

So, you have a choice. You can either take: -

Choice #1

Comply, totally, with your local Pool Safety Regulations, right now. Pay a reasonable amount to have a safe pool because it's much cheaper than suffering the potential consequences of an accident. Then you can relax, sit back and enjoy your pool, secure in the knowledge that it's safe.

If you don't have the ready cash you can buy the necessaries on finance from many suppliers and installers. If you still can't afford it hold a few fundraiser events among your extended family, friends and neighbours who will (surely?) be invited to come over to swim in your pool. This approach is to the benefit of everyone who uses the pool and is really achievable. Oh yes: -Hire a Lifeguard for the Pool Opening Party or get some Safety Training. You can and should learn CPR - here are some CPR Course Training providers and there are plenty more out there. There is one near you, for sure.

You can also make the pool area, and the filter/chemical areas, the safest places they can be. Take a look at the Pool Safety section and learn what you can do. Then you can be sure that you've done everything possible to protect the health and lives of anyone who might be at risk. I expect you'll probably even sleep better; I know I would!

Note: -Avoid buying second-hand Safety Equipment and ensure that it really IS Safety Equipment when buying new items.

OR you can take

Choice #2

You can ignore the Regulations and endure the aftermath of an accident in your pool if and when it happens: -

You can spend many traumatic months, or perhaps years, fighting one or several lawsuits.

Then pay Legal Fees; these alone would be many times the cost of Pool Safety Law compliance.

Possibly lose everything you own in punitive damages and perhaps be imprisoned all very soon after an avoidable accident in your pool.

• Of course, none of the above events are guaranteed to happen. A child who falls in your unprotected pool might survive unharmed but why take the risk?

Remember; the life you save could be your child, your grand-child, your wife or even yourself.

In a nutshell: -Property owners have responsibility to ensure their pool is a safe and secure environment. If the owner of a pool fails to take adequate preventative measures they can be held responsible if and when an accident occurs.

Main Index - Pool Safety

Pool Chemicals Safety

Pool accidents are not solely water-related. Pool chemicals must be treated with considerable caution to avoid burns, respiratory complaints, poisoning even fire and explosion. Boom! Pool Chemicals present considerable hazards if not used correctly. Carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions for the use and storage of chemicals


The following is an extract from The Daily Telegraph (London) from 09/Aug/2004: -

Louise Mills, 36, was recovering from face and eye injuries yesterday after chemicals she was using to clean a swimming pool exploded. She had been enjoying the early evening sunshine with her kids, aged 9 and 10, and her mother at the family home near Battle, East Sussex, when the accident happened.

She had mixed a bucket of chemicals to pour into the pool when it exploded in her face. She accepts she did not correctly follow the instructions, but says the labelling did not warn of the possibility of an explosion.

Buying Chemicals

In the off-season, when most pool-shops are short of business, you will be able to negotiate a discount on many pool chemical products, at a considerable saving. Bulk-purchasing chemicals in the low season will save money. Most pool chemicals have a fairly long shelf-life; products bought in Autumn will be just as efficient the following Spring. One notable exception to this is Sodium Hypochlorite which degrades when exposed to light so it is probably best to buy it at the time you need it. Whenever you buy your chemicals you are faced with the problem of getting them home safely.

Pool Safety Index

Transportation of Chemicals

To avoid chemical burns to your vehicle interior, place containers of liquids (Chlorine, Acid, Flocculent and Algaecide) in rubber buckets when transporting them, and wrap tubs of Chlorine, etc., in plastic bags.

Transport different chemicals in different areas of the vehicle if possible, or make multiple trips.

Ensure that the chemicals are securely fastened  . . . .

About the Author

Ken Walker lives, works and writes in the quiet country town of Alhaurín el Grande, near Málaga, Spain, with his wife, Louise, and Lola the Boxer Dog. Ken and Louise married in Doha, Qatar in 1986 after a whirlwind romance lasting just 6 weeks. Neither has ever regretted it.

He’s had a variety of occupations; filling shelves at a supermarket, working a car-wash, calling Bingo, 7 years in the Military (he’s OK now, though fully recovered, thanks!), 5 years in the Middle East in the defence industry, 14 years as a Roofing Contractor, 5 years managing a rock band, 5 years operating a window cleaning business (1400 clients every month!) and 15 years in the Swimming Pools business. Some of those periods overlapped a tad!

Ken has personally taught over 1000 pool-owners how to take care of their own pools. He has written several books on Swimming Pool Maintenance, along with over 200 magazine articles.

Also available by the same author: -

The Pool Bible - A plain-language guide to pools and pool maintenance. It costs plenty to own and operate a swimming pool. There are huge savings to be made by maintaining and cleaning your pool yourself.  Learn how to take care of your own pool, and keep it in perfect condition, for a fraction of the price that a Pool Pro would charge.

Get your copy of this informative eBook here

Please tell your friends and family about The Pool Safety Bible and help them to make their pool the safest place it can be. Together, you and I might make a difference to the number of pool-related accidents of all kinds.

Copyright Ken Walker 2014 All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.