The majority of residential pools and all commercial pools incorporate different forms of pool deck equipment. Pool deck equipment consists of anything that is mounted onto the decking surrounding the pool structure itself. Handrails, ladders, diving boards, water slides, and handicap accessible lifts, are some of the commonly seen pieces of equipment you will see around the swimming pool.
Every Swimming pool will have a means of entry. Pool Ladders or recessed wall steps accompanied by handrails are very common in residential in-ground pools. Most pools constructed with walk out steps or sloped entry will also include a handrail to assist in entering and leaving the swimming pool. In-ground pools are usually constructed with anchor wedges or a bolt system that can tighten over a handrail or ladder rail to secure and be loosened to allow deck equipment to be removed if needed. Drop in style steps with handrails can also be a means of access for pools constructed without a means to secure a railing into the decking.
Above ground pools without surrounding pool decking will usually utilize an A frame style ladder or similar entry system. These access systems will have optional locking mechanisms to deter unwanted entry. Anti entrapment design will prevent a swimmer from becoming stuck between the ladder treads or between the railing and the pool wall. Most above ground ladder equipment can be conveniently folded and stored when not in use.
To help ensure pool safety you will want to inspect all means of entry making sure the deck equipment is in good condition. Confirm ladder treads are not broken or cracked and beginning to splinter. If a railing, step, or anchor wedge is damaged replace immediately to ensure the safety of those using the necessary equipment. You will also want to make sure that the deck equipment around your swimming pool does not damage the pool structure. Rubber Pads and ladder bumpers will prevent damage to the walls as swimmers climb up and down the steps.
Diving Boards, Dive Stands, and Pool Jump Rocks
One of the biggest thrills of enjoying a swimming pool is taking a plunge into the water from a diving board or other diving platform. Entering a pool from an elevated level headfirst can also be a dangerous activity. Make sure any diving or jumping piece of equipment meets the ANSI/NSPI-5 Standard. Because of the risk associated with diving into a swimming pool you will want to routinely ensure all equipment is in excellent condition. Ensure that the equipment is properly mounted to the decking and all hardware is tightened appropriately. Make sure the surface of the diving board or jump rock does not lose its anti-skid surface and become slick to users of the equipment. Resurfacing kits can eliminate those slippery hazards. If a diving board begins to crack you will want to replace immediately and discontinue use until the new board has been installed. Of the many reported diving board related accidents nearly 60% involved alcohol. Reduce the chances of having an accident occur by only allowing divers in the right state of mind to partake in diving and jumping activities. Follow safe diving practices and make sure the area you are jumping into is clear of other swimmers.
Swimming Pool Slides
Swimming pool slides are becoming even more popular due to the advances in design and the ease of installation. A safer alternative to diving boards, pool slides are available in numerous models so finding the right one for you shouldn’t be a problem. Slide designs can be original and simplistic or be extremely intricate with rock formation designs worked into the base of the slide allowing it to blend in perfectly to the backyard surroundings. One of your pool return lines can be tapped into for a water source to achieve water flow going down the pool slide. Older models still have hose bib connections for an alternative in plumbing in an underground plumbing line. Always use safe practice when using a pool slide. Just like using a diving board you will want to make sure only one user is going down the slide at a time and the landing area is free of swimmers or the previous slide user. Never try and go up a sliding board and never stand up on the slide. Use for the intended purpose to avoid any mishaps.
Swimming Pool Lifts
Mandatory as a means of access in public swimming pools, ADA compliant pool lifts will be a common sight in public facilities across the nation. Pool lifts are designed to help those with disabilities to enjoy a swimming pool without having difficulties entering and exiting the water. Lift designs are either battery or water pressure operated. Laws mandate annual maintenance to ensure any pool lift is operating correctly. When considering purchasing a pool lift, take into consideration the raw goods used in construction, complexity of installation, and necessary maintenance.