Updated: June 8, 2015

Pool Alarm Reviews:

pool alarm systems When it comes to safety around a swimming pool, more and more homeowners are turning to pool alarms. For years, pool fences and gates have been installed to help keep little kids away from that ever enticing pool. There is no doubt that a swimming pool fence is probably the best deterrent, but pool owners realize that pool alarm systems that go off when someone goes in the water are invaluable. One of my brothers friends just had their child drown in a family pool out in Las Vegas so I know how terrible these events can be. No matter how sure you are of where your child might be, there is always a chance that they have slipped past your field of vision and potentially headed to the pool. Water is a huge attractant for smaller children and therefore having a swimming pool in your yard is a massive liability unless you plan on being extremely vigilant. That being said, most drownings are total accidents and often one parent thought the child was with the other or perhaps the phone rings and you temporarily forget about watching over the pool. The new alarm systems for pools are getting better, although from reviews we read online and in magazines they are not perfect. Most experts will say that using a pool alarm sensor should be a secondary source of safety and a fence or gate should be installed as your primary safety feature.


Buying Guide - With roughly 300 drownings a year (from children under the age of 5), there are ways to deter and hopefully prevent this from happening. How do pool alarm systems work? Most detect a disturbance in the water and sound their alarm. Some are attached to the edge of the pool while others simply float on the surface and go off when the water is disturbed. The newest invention is from the people at Safety Turtle - it works as a base unit and your child wears a specially designed wristband that will sound the alarm when it gets wet. Therefore, if you are conscientious enough to put the bracelet on your child, then the alarm will sound if they fall in. Many drowning reports of young children simply tell of a story where no one heard a splash or sound when the child falls in. Too often they are just leaning over the edge wanting to retrieve an item in the pool (ball, toy, etc.) and they simply roll right in. The first few minutes are critical to saving their life, so having an alarm system that know when a disturbance has occurred is crucial. A similar product is the First Alert A100 Aqua Alert Water Actived Safety Band that activates when it gets in touch with water and sounds a 110 db alarm that can be heard from 100 feet away. Whether you have an inground pool or above ground pool, an alarm system is a must if you have little toddlers walking around that area. Looking for pool alarm reviews - we found quite a few listed on Amazon.com and at Good Housekeeping did a thorough test on 7 pool alarms and 6 gate alarms. The Wall Street Journal also did a test on in-ground pool alarms where they tested 4 pool alarm systems with mixed results. Lastly, although outdated a bit, we found an excellent evaluation of swimming pool alarms done by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff back in 2000. You can see the results of their finding HERE. You can browse their most popular pool alarm systems here.

Best Pool Alarms:

RECOMMENDED - There are a few that are worth considering, although keep in mind that not are foolproof and that caution is always a strong reminder when dealing with kids and pools. The first is the Aquaguard Pool Alarm System. Reviews for this unit are mostly positive. You can switch it from "swim" to "armed" mode or vice versa. Good Housekeeping said this alarm had an average response time of just under 11 seconds. One family that lives in Kansas said that with rainy and windy conditions they thought the alarm would sound, but it held steady and no false alarm was sounded. The unit will automatically rearm itself after a period of calm water has been detected. This is a good function given that sometimes after you get out of the pool you may forget to set it again. Another popular model is the Poolguard Inground Pool Alarm (model PRGM-2). This device doesn't have a swim mode so when you go to swim it needs to be removed from the pool or else it will go off. Also, make sure to replace it after a swim. Keep in mind that many of these products are well over $200 and the higher priced MG International Sensor Espio is closer to $700 - it requires a magnetic key to put the device on standby while swimming. Some owners feel this is more secure than keypads or buttons which kids can manipulate easier. No matter which pool alarm monitor you choose, make sure you are vigilant and don't rely 100% on the alarm to work. In several tests done by professionals, the remote receivers didn't pick up the alarm sound that is often in the house somewhere.

Wristband Pool Alarm:

RECOMMENDED - Many parents say that the alarm for their pool is meant to stop the kids from falling in and drowning. The latest device is a bracelet or wristband that is worn by your child which will sound an alarm when it gets wet. The Safety Turtle Base Station is the main unit that gets a signal from the wristband. You can get the Safety Turtle Wristband here. The alarm will sound on the base unit with 110 decibels. Most parents place the base station in their house and make sure the kids are wearing their wristband for proper use. The problem with a unit like this is that when is the right time to have your child wear the armband. Most kids don't want to have to wear a wristband just to go outside. Some parents even complained that the wristbands don't fit properly and a few even broke where they connect. A similar product is the stand alone First Alert A100 Aqua Alert Water Actived Safety Band, White/Blue which has a water activated alarm that has a 110 decibel sound that is emitted when the band gets in contact with water. Besides pools, parents who own this product say it's great to have on lakes, while boatings, and anytime you are near a body of water. These wrist bands, too, can be troublesome to attach and keep on.


Pool Doors, Gates, and Fences:

Other products like pool gate alarms are another option for homeowners with pools. A fence all the way around a pool is about as safe as you can get - plus add an alarm to the gate so that you know if a child has entered the area. I have even heard of families getting a surveillance camera that watches over their pool area and feed the video back into a tv in the house. There are ways to prevent senseless accidents around swimming pools, so pick a few and keep an eye on small children when they are at your house.