Pools are great places for fun with family and friends, but they can be dangerous, especially for unattended children and toddlers.
People, and sometimes pets, drown in pools and a pool alarm is a significant investment, even if you do not have children. Your visiting friends might.
In most areas, pool gates and door alarms are required by law, and your swimming or spa pool is likely to be inspected.
Your pool door alarm will need to meet a specification, typically UL 2017 pool alarms at a minimum.
Other risks go with pools, docks, marinas, and even locations such as houseboats, which include people accidentally falling into the water, and even electrocution where wires become exposed to water.
This Buyer’s Guide will talk you through several things you should consider, to comply with regulations and simply to keep friends, family, and visitors safe.
The 6 Best pool alarms - Reviews:
1. Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
The Pool Patrol PA-30 pool alarm provides you with peace of mind that it will alert you if children or pets fall into the pool, creating a wave. It is suitable for pools up to 20 x 40 feet.
An audible alarm puts out a clear signal, both in the pool, and at the remote receiver which can be inside the house or in a location within approximately 200 feet. It is rated at 85dB from 10 feet away.
A 120-240V AC wall transformer powers the remote receiver and comes with mounting hardware.
A 9-volt battery powers the floating alarm.
The PA-30 has a low battery indicator, which will chirp once every 60 seconds when the battery is low.
This pool alarm will work fine in a saltwater pool, as the surfaces are plastic and will therefore not corrode.
Its alarm is triggered when a wave touches the sensing ring of the pool alarm.
The sensitivity can be adjusted only to activate when an object the size of a child or pet falls into your pool.
The Pool Patrol PA-30 pool alarm is suitable for in-ground and above-ground pools and can be used to protect commercial pools and spas.
It is compliant with ASTM F2208 standard safety specification for residential pool alarms.
It can be connected to a home security system, but it is recommended that you use it for a week and make sure you have the sensitivity correctly adjusted and tested for a week or so, before connecting it.
2. ShockAlarm- Electric Shock Drowning Protection for Pools
ShockAlarm is a floating, monitoring alarm designed to protect people and pets from Electric Shock Drowning (ESD).
Being a passive device, it has an inbuilt power supply and does not add risk by connecting to an electrical system.
Once the alarm has been activated, it will constantly monitor an electric current.
Suitable for use in pools, in a marina or by a dock, ShockAlarm is also a good investment if you live in or swim near houseboats.
ESD is a risk, and an electric current is invisible.
A device like this is the only way to protect against a threat that most people would not even consider.
The ShockAlarm is factory sealed to ensure that the environment does not affect how long it lasts.
There is no light or indicator to let you know if it’s on/working.
However, the alarm can be easily tested by pointing the base at a phone charger, connected to mains power.
You can turn off the alarm when you do not need it, to save battery life, so that you can use it for multiple seasons.
3. Safety Turtle New 2.0 Child Immersion Pool/Water Alarm Kit - 2 Wristbands
Kids and pools equal fun and risk.
The Safety Turtle 2.0 Immersion Pool/Water Alarm Kit helps reduce that risk.
Children love playing in the water, and while you can watch them most of the time, things happen to distract you, and a fun day can quickly turn into a disaster.
Being portable, this is a device you can use at home, or when visiting friends, and has a range of up to 200 feet from the pool.
When children are at a pool, they are frequently very noisy.
The alarm is loud and sounds like a police siren, so this should not be a problem.
The Safety Turtle kit comes with two wristbands as pool play is a social event.
You can purchase as many additional wristbands as you need. Most kids love turtles, so are happy to wear the band.
If they do not want to wear it on their arm, the wristband can be pinned to clothing the child is wearing.
There is even a pet adapter option, so if you have a pet that can’t swim, they can also be protected.
The batteries in the bands have a 3-5-year life and cannot be replaced when they go flat.
The alarm is very sensitive and goes as soon as it gets wet, and resetting is as simple as pushing a button.
4. Poolguard DAPT-2 Water Hazard Pool Door Alarm
The Poolguard DPAT-2 is a water hazard, pool door alarm, which will activate 7 seconds after a child opens the door if the ‘PASS THRU’ button is not pressed, even if the entry has been closed again behind them.
The door alarm is always on.
The alarm is powered by a 9-volt battery, which has a life of around one year.
The Poolguard DAPT-2 Pool Door Alarm has a low battery indicator, which will audibly alert you when your battery is getting low.
The alarm features two delay modes.
When the reset button has been pushed, you have 14 seconds to go through the door and close it.
If the door is closed within 14 seconds, the alarm will reset automatically.
If the door is not closed within 14 seconds, the alarm will sound.
If the alarm sounds for approximately 5 minutes, and the door is still open, the alarm horn will start to pulsate, 5 seconds on and 5 seconds off.
It will continue to do this until the door has been closed and the reset button has been pressed.
It is possible to mount this pool alarm on a sliding door.
An optional screen door kit can be purchased and installed if needed.
The Poolguard DAPT-2 water hazard complies with the UL 2017 pool alarm standard.
5. Techko S187D Safe Pool Alarm
The Techko S187D Safe Pool Alarm can monitor a gate, door, window, or another entryway to your pool area.
It is suitable for a variety of doors, including sliding doors and screen doors.
The alarm is always in protective mode and will sound as soon as the door is opened and will continue until the bypass button is triggered.
The alarm is very loud at 110dB.
A 9V battery powers it, which is easy to replace.
An audible alarm buzzes and a red LED lights up when the battery levels are low.
The Techko S187D Pool Alarm is certified to the UL 2017 pool alarm standard.
It is ETL listed, which means it has been tested and approved by Intertek, which is recognized by authorities in North America as meeting national standards.
Compliance information is on the device label, which will satisfy a pool inspector.
This alarm comes complete with two sensors, which means that if you have a screen door, you can have the main door open, and the screen door shut, leaving the alarm active.
You do not have to use both sensors if you don’t need them.
The sensors mount with an adhesive surface, which makes installation easy, even on glass.
While some of these alarms only have one bypass button, this has two.
One button is on the primary device and another on a wire so that you can have a bypass function on both sides of the door.
6. SPQ Brands NZ425 YG03 Gate and Window Alarm
The SPQ Brands YardGard gate and window alarm is an effective and affordable warning system to alert you and your neighbors of unauthorized entry into your pool area.
It has a loud alarm at 120 dB to ensure you do not miss it when activated.
The SPQ Brands gate and window alarm is ETL certified to UL 2017 pool alarm standards, meeting the US national standard for a residential water hazard barrier alarm.
All the necessary mounting equipment is bundled with this device, and it is easy to install on wooden or metal gates, sliding glass doors, or windows.
The design is water-resistant, so it is suitable for both inside and outdoor gates, which makes it an ideal device for use as a swimming or spa pool alarm to keep children safe.
This alarm is battery powered, using a 9V battery, and features a one-touch bypass allowing quiet authorized access at any time.
When the battery is low, the alarm will beep every 30 seconds to signal that the battery needs to be replaced.
It sounds instantly if the bypass is not activated.
If the entry point is opened and then closed without the bypass/entry button being pushed, the siren will sound for 4 minutes continuously.
There is also an anti-tampering feature. If the wire to the sensor is cut, the alarm will continuously sound, until the battery is removed from the alarm.
Buyer’s Guide to Pool Alarms
There are many things that you need to consider when purchasing pool alarms, ensuring that they meet both legal requirements and practical requirements for your unique needs.
Reading through each item in this guide will probably highlight things that you may not have considered and will save you from potentially purchasing a product that is not suitable for your needs.
The most important things to keep in mind when choosing a pool alarm are why you want the alarm, what type of pool you have, and what functionality you need.
Why do you need a pool alarm?
You can’t be on guard all of the time. I once had to personally rescue a neighbor's child who jumped off a trampoline into their pool, and was motionless face down in the water.
She didn’t make a sound and might not be around if I hadn’t just happened to glance up at the right time.
I have also read too many stories about children who drown in pools.
However, it isn’t just pools that you need to think about.
What about the dock or marina at the back of your lake house?
I used to have relatives who lived in a houseboat with young children.
Accidents happen, and alarms are a negligible investment when the risks are taken into consideration.
There are particularly good reasons why the local government in most places requires that alarmed doors and gates protect spa and swimming pools.
The law is there to ensure that these fun places are safe because you can’t be watching kids and inexperienced swimmers all the time.
Even in ideal circumstances, people get distracted, and regulations help reduce the risk of not being aware that something has gone wrong
In most places, regulations are the same for spa pools and swimming pools.
Swimming pools vary in size, and if you have a large pool, you may need to check that devices like wave sensors are suitable for the size of the pool.
It may be necessary to have more than one sensor in larger pools.
Using the above information, you can determine which type of alarm you need. Here are some of the most common types:
There are varieties of alarms to protect unauthorized entry into a pool area.
Some of them are water-resistant, and some are not.
If the gate is outside, this is an important consideration.
You need to consider what material the pool alarm will be mounted onto.
It could be glass, aluminum, wood, or plastic.
Some alarms only affix with adhesive materials.
Others come with screws and other mounting components.
The thickness of the sensors might be relevant.
If you have double doors, i.e. a screen door and the main door, not all pool alarms will be suitable.
Personal immersion detectors:
When considering an immersion detector, you need to consider the size or weight of a child or pet that might fall or jump into the pool.
The alarm should not be set off by light wind or rain but should activate if a small child or pet enters the water.
You may want to look for an alarm that has sensitivity adjustment so that you can match it to the conditions.
Wearable devices need to be adjustable according to the size of a child, such that they can’t slip off when the child is playing in the water.
Alarms that go into a pool need to be suitable for the type of pool and the conditions.
For example, will they function or degrade in a saltwater environment?
Aesthetics is another consideration.
If you have a beautiful white pool fence, you might not want a grey or off-white colored alarm.
Pool alarm features
If your pool is in a location where it is often windy, you need to consider that wind creates waves.
You will need a pool alarm that allows you to make sensitivity adjustments so that you do not get unwanted false alarms.
How far away might you be from the pool?
Some of these pool alarms feature remote alarm components that can be installed inside the house, which increase the range.
How loud does the alarm need to be?
Pools can be noisy places, even when people are not in the water.
Children (even adults) tend to make a lot of noise when they are in or around a pool, and that does not mean they are watching what is happening in it.
They might be standing at a barbecue or playing a game.
So, the alarm needs to stand out from the ambient sounds.
Where might you be if the alarm goes off?
What if there are walls between the pool and you?
Some people complain about the loud noise but remember why you have the alarm in the first place.
Some devices have remote controls for reset.
Is this something you need?
Some have controls for inside the house or gate.
Some only have one set of controls.
It pays to consider all the circumstances that might arise.
Pool alarm prices
Price is always relative.
Often you get what you pay for, but that isn’t always the case.
If a cheaper device meets your needs AND meets your legal obligations, that might be fine.
At higher price points you might be looking at additional features, for example, the ability to connect to a house security system or the flexibility of having bypass buttons on both sides of a door or gate.
Some devices have sealed batteries that can not be replaced when they go flat, meaning the whole device has to be thrown out when the battery expires.
That might be fine if you only want to use the alarm for one season but might not be a great option if it is a permanent situation.
Prices in this review range from as low as $24.97 plus shipping, while others are around the $200 mark.
Ultimately, I recommend looking at the functionality and suitability to meet your needs, then look at the price.
List of ul 2017 pool alarms
- Poolguard DAPT-2 Water Hazard Pool Door Alarm
- Techko S187D Safe Pool Alarm
- SPQ Brands NZ425 YG03 Gate and Window Alarm
Read the instruction manual: Most of the devices in this review have an instruction manual, which gives you information about set-up, installation and even additional features that might not be in the product description.
Read it before you buy and again after you have received it, before installation.
Know how to shut off the pool alarm: Refer to ‘Read the instruction manual’.
You don’t want to be dealing with the stressful noise of a siren blaring when you first set it up, and you didn’t get to the part about how to turn it off or reset it.
Replace the batteries in the pool alarm regularly: These alarms are designed to be on all the time, and they are of no use to you if the batteries are flat.
Most have an alert to warn you if the battery is flat.
It’s good practice to have a spare on site and to have a regular date for checking the alarm, such as on the first of the month, every three months, so that you don’t forget.
Q. How much weight will set off a pool alarm?
A. Weight is very subjective, and there is no standard specification.
A quality pool alarm will have adjustable sensitivity. What is more important is how big the pool is and where the alarm floats in the pool.
Commonly alarms are tethered to the side of the pool and the wave that triggers it will be greater the closer it is to the person or pet that enters the pool.
With large pools, you might need to have multiple alarm devices.
Q. Can a windy day trigger the pool alarm?
A. Yes, wind can trigger an alarm. Wind creates waves, and if your pool is in an exposed area, you will want to consider this risk.
There may be times where heavy winds occur or are forecast where you will need to remove the alarm device from the pool.
Q. Can pool alarms be used in hot tubs?
A. Yes, you can use alarms in hot tubs, or spas.
You may need to consider things like solar covers. If you have a loose cover, pets or children might still be able to slip in.
Some people cut a hole in the cover to allow the pool alarm to float and activate when needed.
Pools are places to have fun, but accidents happen.
If something goes wrong, you need to know immediately as it only takes minutes (sometimes seconds) for someone to drown.
Pool owners have legal requirements to meet, so make sure that any device you purchase meets the legal standards for the town or city where you live.
If it doesn’t meet those requirements, you may have to replace it, even if it works.
There are many factors that you need to consider when buying the best swimming pool alarm for you.
This review of the best swimming pool alarms will help you to tick off all the relevant boxes for your needs, before you buy, including the things you didn’t think of initially.
Get it right, first time and enjoy.
Feel free to send your own reviews and comments below.
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