The Best Pool Alarms and Pool Gates
GHRI tested alarms and gates to childproof your pool
Before uncovering your backyard pool, consider this: Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for kids 14 and younger. An unsupervised child can slip into a pool without a sound or a splash, and in less than two minutes underwater, he can lose consciousness.
Alarms can alert parents to emergencies before it’s too late. In fact, some states even have legislation requiring them. (Learn more about pool safety legislation.) The Good Housekeeping Research Institute tested seven pool alarms (they tell you when the water is disturbed) and six gate alarms (installed on a barrier around your pool, they sound when the gate is opened).
“We recommend using both pool and gate alarms. The more layers of protection, the better,” says Todd Kent, GHRI’s senior test engineer. “Effective alarms are not lifesaving devices, but they can alert parents to an accident, giving them time to act.”
Poolguard PGRM-2 ($260)
The PGRM-2 sounded on each mannequin drop with an average response time of 9.45 seconds, and did not alarm during the wind test. This subsurface device meets all of GHRI’s safety requirements.
Comments: This product has the lowest price of the pool alarms that passed our test. The PGRM-2 does not offer a swim mode, so it must be removed from the pool to go swimming. If it’s not replaced in the pool after a swim, the pool will go unmonitored. For safety purposes, the PGRM-2 is always on when placed in the pool, which is your visual indicator that the product is monitoring the pool. Any time the device hasn’t been used for an extended period of time, it’s very important to check the battery. Of the products that passed our safety criteria, this is the easiest for a child to bypass, in our opinion. She can simply hold down the button on the back, and then remove it from the pool.
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