The swimming pool alarm is one of the solutions making it possible to secure the swimming pool, but is it sufficient to preserve the child safety and adults? The system to be installed must be as reliable as possible so that an alarm sounds in the event of access to the swimming pool or immersion when this is not authorised. Let’s take stock of the regulations in force in terms of swimming pool safety, thelaser alarm and theunderwater alarmboth homologated, and see the other models of alarms that can complete the mandatory safety devices.
Pool alarm: what does the law say?
He is obligatory to install a device approved for secure your swimming pool, whether buried or semi-buried. There are four solutions, namely:
- pool barrier,
- The swimming pool enclosure,
- The swimming pool cover or tarpaulin,
- The pool alarm.
In our country, as far as the alarm is concerned – a subject that concerns us here – it must imperative to comply with the requirements of the regulations in forceIn other words, it must conform to the standard NF P90-307 which is attested by a certificate of conformity. This guarantees the following points:
- A child cannot access their activation and/or deactivation device,
- The alarm cannot be triggered unexpectedly,
- It detects the fall of a person in the swimming pool,
- In the event of danger, a sufficiently powerful audible signal sounds,
- It reactivates automatically after a bathing session,
- A signal warns that the battery must be recharged or replaced.
However, you should be aware that a pool alarm does not prevent neither the intrusion, nor the fall, nor the drowning, its role being to alert when one of these scenarios arises. It should therefore be installed in addition to one of the other three swimming pool safety devices, especially when children are likely to be in the perimeter of the swimming pool.
Swimming pool alarm: presentation of the different approved categories
We currently only find two categories of alarms for swimming pools which benefit from approval: the perimeter alarm and the submerged alarm.
The swimming pool perimeter alarm
It is a laser alarm, also called infrared alarm, equipped with terminals that emit waves, a kind of motion sensors arranged around the perimeter of the pool. When the device is activated, a beam laser acts as virtual barrier. The siren is triggered as soon as this beam is broken. It’s a preventive system since the alarm sounds before a person falls into the water, but this does not prevent human vigilance.
The peripheral alarm is insensitive to high winds, falling leaves, and also does not sound when a bird lands on the surface of the water to bathe or drink. On the other hand, a cat, a dog, a bird can trigger the alert as soon as they cross the infrared beam.
The peripheral alarm is ideal for equipping a traditional shaped swimming pool, buried or semi-buried. It is much less suitable for pools with a more convoluted shape and it is not ideal for an above-ground pool either.
Regarding the price of a pool perimeter alarm, it takes 800 € for a first price but you can pay up to 3,000 € for a sophisticated model. This is a price range. It is necessary that ask for a quote in order to be informed with precision according to the model of swimming pool to be secured.
Swimming pool submerged alarm
This is a fall detector compatible with all types of swimming pool and its role is to detect oscillations and abnormal waves in the water in the swimming pool. It’s a alert in the aftermath who therefore does not prevent the accident since it only rings when it is already too late.
The submerged alarm consists of a remote control unit, a keyboard or even a remote control and several probes, which is suitable for large swimming pools. Some models, however, have only one probe. At the time of purchase, care must be taken to choose an underwater alarm that limits false positives, that is to say untimely triggering. The price of this device varies between 250 and 700 € depending on the model.
This alarm requires no electrical connection, is easy to install and requires no special maintenance. On the other hand, it is necessary to frequently check the good condition of the battery and test its charge level. Be careful though, many users have found that some underwater alarms emit a spurious signal in strong winds or falling leaves. False positives can also be triggered by pool equipment (counter-current swimming device, robot, backflow nozzle) or an animal (bird, cat, dog).
Non-approved swimming pool alarms: only complementary devices
The talking alarm is not one of the four regulatory compliant safety devices. This means that if one chooses to install only that, one does not respect the law in force. The responsibility of the owner is therefore committed in the event of an accident. However, this presence sensor can quite complete an approved swimming pool alarm (perimeter or submerged). It simply consists of a detector and warns by voice message as soon as a person is near the pool.
The price of a talking pool alarm, a simple addition to an approved device, is around 100 to 150 €.
There are other non-approved alarms to be used only in addition, such as the alarm necklace and the bracelet alarm with which a child can be equipped. Connected to a alarm center, they emit an audible alert when the wearer gets too close to the pool or if they fall into the water. Only an adult can remove this type of jewelry.
As an indication, an alarm bracelet costs on average €65 and an alarm necklace €270. You have to be careful at the time of purchase, because some models do not work in salt water.
In which cases to choose the pool alarm?
As we have seen, this device alerts in the event of intrusion or immersion but does not prevent drowning. The underwater alarm and the perimeter alarm are quite suitable if there is no child in the home. This is often the choice made by pool owners who do not wish to devote a large budget to securing their pool because the cover, the barrier and even the cover cost more than the alarm. The latter is also a solution appreciated by people who do not have enough space to install a swimming pool enclosure or a barrier and by those who flee too restrictive security solutions.
We can completely understand these different points of view, but we must however be aware that an approved swimming pool alarm is not the most appropriate system to protect people against the risk of drowning. Finally, whatever the solution chosen among the four mandatory devices to secure your bathing area, an adult must always be present when children or vulnerable people are near the swimming pool and must not relax their vigilance under any circumstances.