As summer winds down and the days are getting shorter, those with backyard pools are probably beginning to think about when to close it up for the season. If you are in this group, keep in mind these tips:
1. Prior to closing the pool, make sure your water is chemically balanced and adjust chemical levels if necessary. This is a very important step because chemically balanced water protects the pool from corrosion or scale buildup that can occur during the period the pool is shut down.
2. Remove all deck equipment (ladders, rails, etc.), and then brush down the sides and floor of your pool and vacuum it thoroughly. Debris or dirt in the pool may cause staining.
3. Follow manufacturer's instructions to winterize equipment such as filters, pumps, hoses, etc.
4. Place a safety cover on the pool and make sure it's secure and unable to be lifted or removed. A cover pump is useful to help prevent water from accumulating on the top of the cover.
Even if your pool is not open, it can still pose a potential risk to your children or others. Here are some additional safety tips to ensure your family members are safe in and around the pool:
5. Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-foot high fence or barrier with a self-latching gate.
6. Educate your children about water safety, including winter ice safety. Be sure all household members know how to swim.
7. Keep children under active supervision at all times.
8. If your child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.