All Posts, Equipment, Water Safety

Pool Alarms: What You Need to Know

Let’s talk about pool alarms. As a preface, I recommend multiple layers of security around your pool. 3 is best. You must have a fence around it for insurance reasons, but they do not require a barrier from your house, so there’s still plenty of risk. I do recommend a fence around your entire pool meaning you have to go through a fence gate to access the pool from anywhere. Most municipalities require at least a 4 foot fence with a locked gate, but that does vary from one place to the next. Whether your fence is mesh, aluminum, wrought iron, or other, make sure children and pets cannot wedge through it or easily climb over it. (Over 5,000 pets drown in home pools each year.)

There are 4 basic types of alarms: surface alarms, subsurface (or underwater), door alarms, and swimmer alarms.

Door alarms are a great first line of defense and usually are quite affordable, even on a tight budget. Most have an adult delay option. They sound immediately giving you the opportunity to get to the child before he/she gets to the pool. This alarm is just what you need on your pool gate and/or back door. Try this highly rated one or this one.

Surface Alarms tend to sound often because they detect things like sticks, frogs, wind, and debris. Some have a sensitivity sensor, which helps prevent some false alarms, while others do not. This is a great line of defense, especially in conjunction with another type of alarm whether it’s a door or subsurface alarm.
This one is for both in ground and above ground pools.

Subsurface Alarms are more accurate, usually not sounding until 15+ pounds enter the water. They work based on water displacement and do tend to cost more, but they are well worth it in my opinion. While I believe this is one of the most accurate ways to detect unauthorized pool entry, I believe when coupled with other alarm types, you are guaranteed prevention or at least early detection. Because of the in-house remote receiver, you are guaranteed to hear it in and out of the house.
This one is for in-ground pools. This one is for above ground pools.

Swimmer Alarms have come a long way over the last several years. The technology continues to improve, therefore they are much for effective than years past. While these type of alarms are not what you want for everyday reliability, they are great for while you are at the pool be it yours or somewhere else. Think of it as temporary while planned to be in, on, and around the water, especially if you are responsible for more than one child, will be in a distracting environment, or will be in unfamiliar surroundings.
The Safety Turtle has a variety of package options from one band, two bands, a pet band, or two pet bands.

My advice is to buy through Amazon Prime ( as often as possible because you frequently can return the product if it is not working for your situation. While nothing is perfect, there is no substitute for our diligent supervision. I recommend a full fence around the pool, a door alarm or two, and at least the surface or subsurface pool alarm if you do not have a safety cover. Some may require some sensitivity adjustments in the beginning, and most of these notify you when a battery is getting low, so you can rest assured they are always ready for the unexpected.

If you found this information helpful, please share with your friends so they can benefit, too. Let’s make the world a happier and safer place.

Have a safe and fun day!


Sara Beth Signature

All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate-related (allowing me to keep sharing content with you) where I receive a small commission if you purchase through the link, but the price remains the same for you and purchases are completely anonymous. It is important to note all content is based on my own knowledge, skills, and experiences.

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