Drowning is the leading cause of death in children aged one through four years, with an average of 11 fatal and 22 non-fatal drownings per day. The majority of the children that drown in swimming pools most commonly gain access to the pool area through a faulty fence or gate.
Combined with constant child supervision and other layers of protection, physically checking your pool gate and maintaining your pool gate regularly to ensure it self-closes and self-latches at all times could help prevent drownings, yet only 30% of pool owners check the safety of their pool gate once a year. You should not be able to open a gate without activating the release mechanism, which should be out of the reach of toddlers, additionally, the gate should self-close and self-latch without assistance.
D&D Technologies, the inventor and manufacturer of the MagnaLatch Pool Safety Gate Latch and the world leader in high-performance gate hardware, has partnered with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) to establish the Check Your Pool Gate Month campaign during National Water Safety Month beginning the first day of May. The initiative was created to remind pool owners of the vital need to ensure pool fences, gates, latches and hinges are secure, adjusted correctly, and incorporate multiple layers of protection to help secure the pool area from unauthorized entry. Every pool owner should be confident they have a safe swimming zone.
“Our goal with Check Your Pool Gate Month is to educate pool owners about pool safety and to encourage them to check their pool surroundings not once a year, but regularly,” says Jim Paterson, D&D’s SVP of sales and marketing.
A few minutes is all it takes for pool owners to check that their pool fences and gates are in good working order. This simple routine done regularly could help save the life of a child.
Safety checklist for pool gates
- Gates should open outwards, away from the pool
- Latch release knob should be out of reach of toddlers under 5 years. (check local codes/standards for minimum requirements)
- Fence should be at a minimum height to comply with your region and encompass the pool area. (check local codes/standards for minimum requirements)
- Gates must be self-closing and self-latching
- Fence perimeter should have adequate distance from other climbable objects or structures
- Gate hinges are reliable, tension-adjustable, self-closing and rust-free
- Latch cannot be key-locked in the “open” position
- Latch cannot be opened using implements or force
- Latch must be adjustable horizontally and vertically to accommodate gate movement
- Maximum clearance from finished ground surface is no more than 4” (100mm)
- Gate will latch from any position, including from resting on the latching mechanism
- Gate complies with all relevant Codes/Standards and legislation for pool safety
- Incorporate multiple layers of protection: ndpa.org/layers