Having a home pool is awesome – it’s our own personal paradise where we can relax and recharge. On the flip side, owning a pool also requires a degree of responsibility, especially if you have small children. Unsecured pools can present a serious hazard because kids and pets can easily fall into the water without us noticing. A great way to make sure this doesn’t happen is getting the best swimming pool alarms.
For complete security in and around the pool, several different types of alarms are available – surface, subsurface, immersion (wrist), and gate alarms. Regardless of the type, the best pool alarm will notify you quickly and give you time to react. You can even combine different types of alarms to additionally improve pool security.
To help you find the perfect solution, our pool alarm reviews feature fantastic products in each of these categories. On top of this, be sure to check out the buying guide below if you want to learn more about alarms and how to set them up properly.
How To Choose A Pool Alarm – Buying Guide
Types of Pool Alarms
As we mentioned at the beginning, several different types of pool alarms exist. The main differences between them are where you mount them and which sensors they use to sound the alarm. Because they are not mutually exclusive, having a few different types (Pool Guard, iSmart, and Safety Turle for example) can significantly improve pool safety. Take a quick look at what each type has to offer.
Surface wave detection alarm: Usually mounted on the pool deck (in-ground), this alarm has a motion sensor that reacts on waves in the pool. If a child falls in the water, the resulting waves will activate the alarm. In addition to the mounted models, floating models also exist.
Sub-surface detection alarm: Instead of wave (motion) sensors, these devices use pressure sensors. They are submerged underwater and react to changes in water pressure, which sounds the pool alarm and notifies you.
Immersion alarm (wristband): This two-piece alarm is fantastic for kids around any body of water, not just the pool. A child wears a wristband that is wirelessly connected to the main unit. As soon as the wristband is submerged, it sends a signal to the main unit and sounds the alarm.
Gate (door) alarm: A gate alarm resembles a traditional alarm. If you have a fenced pool with a door, this alarm will sound when someone opens the door and enters the pool area.
Besides the standard on/off function, your new pool alarm can be equipped with many other useful features. Instead of a button, some models come with smart activation/deactivation that requires that you input a code or a magnet key to deactivate the device. This prevents children from turning off the alarm.
On top of this, many newer models are sold with remote control. In addition to activating and deactivating, a remote sometimes allows you to change settings on the pool alarm (sensitivity among other things). Some models even come with a smartphone app for even easier use.
Another feature we find very useful is the automatic reactivation. For example, you deactivate the device, go swimming, and forget to reactivate it after you get out of the water. Some devices reactivate automatically after detecting there is no motion in the pool for some time (usually 5-10 minutes).
For the alarm to do its job properly, you have to pick the right spot to place it. The ’right spot’ depends on the type of alarm you choose. For example, if you choose a floating (buoy) alarm, it’s optimal that is floats at the center of the pool. This way it can detect splashes from all sides.
On the other hand, it’s a bit harder with an alarm that mounts on the poolside. We advise that you look for a model that can be mounted near the entry point of the swimming pool. The sensors often have a limited reach, and might not detect a splash on the other end of the pool. To eliminate this problem, some owners put two alarms on opposite ends of the pool.
Sensor Technology and Sensitivity
The most common option for pool alarms is motion (movement) sensors, designed to pick up any movement in the water (waves). Some of the best inground pool alarms even have extra sensors on top that detect when someone comes close to the pool-alarm (without actually falling in the water).
As an alternative, some units use pressure sensors. As we’ve mentioned earlier, these detect the changes in water pressure. Finally, magnetic sensors can be found on door or gate alarms for pools. When the door is opened, the magnetic field breaks and activates the alarm.
When buying a new alarm, always pay attention to the sensor sensitivity. This is particularly important for motion and pressure sensors. For example, some will detect objects that weigh less than 8 pounds, while others won’t detect anything under 15 pounds that fall in the water. In relation to this, it’s always a huge bonus if you can adjust the sensitivity.
The point of having a pool alarm is keeping children safe around the pool. Unfortunately, not all pool alarms offer the same level of protection. Of course, it goes without saying that the alarm should be able to detect even smaller children in the pool. In addition to this, one of the most important things we look for in a pool alarm is that a child can’t deactivate it.
The device shouldn’t have a simple on/off switch, and it’s even better if the alarm activates if it’s removed from the swimming pool. And, if your child is wearing a wristband as protection, they shouldn’t be able to take it off on their own.
In addition to children, smaller pets are also in danger around the swimming pool. They can fall in the water (willingly or by accident) and be unable to get out on their own. Pets often weigh less than children, so some pool alarms aren’t able to detect them at all.
If you’re mainly looking for pet protection, make sure that the water sensor is sensitive enough to pick up a small splash that an animal creates. As an alternative to classic devices, pets can also wear the Safety Turtle immersion alarm on their collar.
Q: What Is A Pool Alarm?
A pool safety alarm is a warning system that is activated when something gets in the water (or in the pool area). When it detects a breach, it sounds a loud signal notifying you that something went in the pool. Whether it’s a child or a small animal, the best pool alarms help you react quickly and get them out.
Q: How Do Pool Alarms Work?
Most pool alarms are designed to detect motion in and around the water surface. They have special sensors that pick up movement and activate the sound alert. However, not all pool alarms use this system. Like we’ve explained in the guide, other sensors (pressure, magnet) can also be used to activate the alarm.
Q: What Are The Laws Regarding Pool Alarms?
The laws differ from state to state. Because of this, we suggest you look into your local regulations or talk to a local official to find out more regarding pool laws. Most places require some form of protection, but whether or not an alarm is mandatory needs to be checked. This being said, an alarm is a great safety feature that gives you peace of mind when your little one is around the pool.
Q: Do Pool Alarms Really Work?
Yes, they do. However, the performance varies significantly from one product to the next. Be sure to do your research and find a model that will be suitable for your swimming pool (in terms of range and sensitivity). Since it’s a safety device, it’s always worth investing in the best floating pool alarms if that means you’ll be worry-free.
Q: How Do I Install A Pool Door Alarm?
A pool door alarm consists of two parts, each on its own bracket. The main part should be attached to the door frame, while the other (smaller) part should be attached to the door itself. You can do this by either gluing them or securing them with screws.
Remember to mark the spots before doing this, so the parts are in the right position and the alarm can work properly. Place the batteries in the main unit and turn on the alarm. If everything is ok, the magnetic field will break when you open the door and the alarm will activate.
Globo Surf Overview
Having the best floating pool alarm is one of the staples of pool safety – it can literally save someone’s life. Children have little concern about safety when playing around the swimming pool, and an accident can happen in a blink of an eye. If you have small kids or pets running around, you shouldn’t think twice about getting the best pool alarm. Even though they seem a bit expensive, the peace of mind they give you is absolutely worth it.