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Best Pool Alarm for Above Ground & Inground Swimming Pools

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Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death, with rates even surpassing traffic accident fatalities in recent years. No parent wants their child or anyone else in their family to become part of that statistic.

Fortunately, by adding a very small, but very important gadget to your swimming pool, you can be alerted the second a family member is in danger of drowning. (And seconds could be the difference between life and death.)

In this article, we’ll be looking at the different types of pool alarms available for both inground and above ground pools, and uncover (what we believe is) the best pool alarm on the market right now.

What Is the Best Pool Alarm?

We looked a number of products and found the following to offer the best experience:

Best for Easy Installation

Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
  • Easy to install with no damage to your pool
  • Adjustable sensitivity to reduce false alarms
  • Works in any type, shape, or size pool or spa

Best for Bluetooth Support

Lifebuoy Pool Alarm System - Pool...
Lifebuoy Pool Alarm System - Pool...
  • A REVOLUTIONARY WARNING SYSTEM FOR A SAFER POOL -...
  • SWIM MODE - The lifebuoy pool alarm is smart -...
  • BLUETOOTH BASED - Use the lifebuoy App to control...

Best on a Budget

Door Window Alarms, Toeeson 120DB...
Door Window Alarms, Toeeson 120DB...
  • 120 LOUD ALARM – this Magnetic sensor window...
  • EASY INSTALLATION - Easily mounted by adhesive,...
  • ULTRA-SLIM DESIGN - Size: 2.9" x 1.5" x 0.4,...

Why Get a Pool Alarm?

There are plenty of good reasons to get yourself a pool alarm, but if you’re reading this, you probably don’t need much convincing.

  • Saves lives: Drowning is a serious cause of death for all ages, but especially for children with most drownings between the ages 1 to 4 occurring in home swimming pools. It’s worth the cost a million times over if it saves a life.
  • Unobtrusive: Despite what many believe, most pool alarms are designed to be unobtrusive, meaning they don’t get in the way or negatively impact pool’s aesthetics or the swimming experience.
  • Gatherings: If you like to host gathering or parties in your home, it’s always a good idea to have an alarm installed since you never quite know who will be roaming about your backyard unattended.
  • Animals/Pets: While many will consider a pool alarm for young children and non-swimmers, it’s easy to forget about the pets in your household that may also be at danger of drowning.
  • Required by law: Whether you have an inground or above ground pool, some states even require you to have a pool alarm by law if your pool a exceeds a certain depth — and it won’t pass an inspection otherwise.

What Types Of Pool Alarm Can You Buy?

When looking at the different types of pool alarms available, it can sometime be hard to know what to go for.

As with most things, there’s really no one-size-fits-all solution. It’s simply a case of understanding what your options are so you can make a more informed buying decision.

1. Door/Gate Alarms

The door/gate alarm is one that is typically installed on a door or gate leading to your pool area, but can also be applied to windows as well.

It’s a very straightforward system that relies on a proximity sensor, with one part being placed on the frame, and the other on the actual door, gate or window. As soon as these pieces are separated, the alarm will sound.

This particular type is great against children because it’s often placed higher up where they are unable to reach, and features a bypass button or code input so adults can disable it momentarily.

Perhaps the biggest downside to this type of pool alarm is that it’s the most obtrusive/unnatractive, which may be a deal breaker for some.

2. Surface Wave Alarms

Surface wave alarms are battery powered devices that sit on the surface of your pool, looking for any disturbance that might indicate someone (or something) has entered the water.

Much like a door alarm, this sensor is also made up of two parts, with one one being placed in your home (to alert you), and the other floating on the pool surface itself.

The great thing about this type of pool alarm is that it can quickly and easily be removed from the pool and left on the ground if you’re using the pool, and then placed back in after use.

There are some downsides, however, including potential false alarms from strong winds or debris, as well as frequent battery changes being a common issue for the less expensive models.

3. Subsurface Alarms

A subsurface pool alarm is often a more permanent solution that also monitors water disturbance at, you guessed it, the subsurface level.

Unlike the surface sensor alarms (type 2), some models are not required to be removed from the water, but instead disarmed by code input or remote, and rearmed similarly, or in some cases automatically once the pool water becomes still.

The only real downsides to this type of pool alarm is that it will mounting to the side of your pool, which isn’t viable for some setups (especially above ground pools without a pool deck).

There’s also the fact that these are typically a lot more expensive than surface wave alarms, but, as with most things, you really do get what you pay for here and I would recommend this type of alarm for the best protection.

4. Immersion (Wristband) Alarms

The immersion alarm is the most unique in the sense that it attaches to a person (typically a child) and not the pool or pool entrance itself.

You’ll find this in the form of a wristband or ankle bracelet, alongside the alarm receiver itself which lives in your home, alerting you when your child enters the pool. (Or get’s caught in a storm, I guess… ^^’)

The biggest benefit here is that it’s portable, meaning it can work with any swimming pool in any location, as well as ponds, lakes and even at the beach.

On the other hand, it only provides protection if it’s actually being worn, so if your child takes it off in order to enter the pool without permission, there goes your warning system.

It’s also not ideal for pets, so if that’s your primary reason for buying a pool alarm, you better skip over this one.

Safety Turtle New 2.0 Child...
Safety Turtle New 2.0 Child...
  • Not backward compatible. Will not work with old...
  • Cute design makes kids want to wear!
  • MULTIPLE USERS - Multiple turtle bands can be...

Choosing A Pool Alarm

Knowing which type of alarm to buy will narrow your choice to some extent, but there are a still a few things you need to ask yourself before making a decision.

You need to consider:

  • Will it work with your pool?
  • Will it trigger at the right time?
  • How long will it last?

Will It Work With Your Pool?

Compatibility refers to how suitable a particular alarm is for a given swimming pool, usually based on things like pool size, depth and the particular style of pool you have (inground or above ground).

As an example, many subsurface alarms will require your pool to have a flat edge, making them a poor choice for most above ground setups. (Unless, of course, you have a pool deck.)

I’ve covered these aspects to some degree when talking about the different types of pool alarms available, but all of them will be accounted for my individual reviews, coming up shortly.

Will It Trigger at the Right Time?

Sensitivity is something you may not have expected to see as a comparison factor here, but it can actually vary a lot from alarm to alarm.

And while you might be inclined to get something that kicks off at the slightest sign of danger, that can sometimes be more inconvenient than the added safety it provides.

For example, a storm can cause movement in your pool which may be confused with a person entering the water if the sensitivity is too high. In some cases, you may even be forced from your bed to go out and disable it.

On the other hand, if the sensitivity is too low, it won’t be enough to pick up small animals falling into the pool, which could prove fatal for cats and some dog breeds if you don’t have a viable exit-point for them.

While the biggest question here would be the level of protection you need and who you’re trying to protect, there are alarms that are simply too prone to going off, and others that will wait for world war 3 before making a peep.

How Long Will It Last?

Perhaps the easiest way to ensure buying a long-lasting alarm is to go with a trusted brand — as in one that has a track-record of manufacturing high-quality products.

In the pool alarm market, there are a handful of providers that come up often when looking for the best pool alarm, including Techko, PoolGuard, Safety Turtle, SmartPool and Pool Patrol

Of course, unsurprisingly with something technical like this, the more you spend, the better quality you’re likely to get and the longer it will last.

In other words, you get what you pay for when it comes to pool alarms, and considering how vital they are to the safety of your family, it’s not a piece of equipment you want to skimp on.

I’ll be looking carefully at this aspect for each individual pool alarm review.

Anything Else to Consider?

The points above are, in my opinion, the most important things to consider when it comes to buying a pool alarm — but not necessarily the only things.

In this case, there are four more aspects you may wish to keep in mind:

  • Alarm Volume: It’s not uncommon for some of these life-saving devices to be a little quieter than you had anticipated, which is a deal-breaker if you need the sound to cover some distance.
  • Battery: Anything that relies on a battery to function is always vulnerable to power issues, and the last thing you want to do, especially with something like this, is remember to swap out the batteries every few months.
  • Practicality: It doesn’t matter how well laid out the specifications are, there are certain nuances to each individual pool alarm that can make it huge win or a massive fail — such how easily it attaches to your gate, or how long it takes to re-arm after a swim session.
  • Installation: As with anything technical, you don’t want to spend all day setting it up. That’s why I’ll also be looking at things like setup instructions and installation time.

Conclusion (Our Top Pick)

Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm
  • Easy to install with no damage to your pool
  • Adjustable sensitivity to reduce false alarms
  • Works in any type, shape, or size pool or spa

A pool alarm is one of those purchases you know you should make, as it really could be the difference between life and death when it comes to your family and/or pets.

Unfortunately, it’s also something that—unlike most pool equipment—takes a good level of research and understanding in order to make a decision. The right decision.

The good news is, if you followed my advice about choosing the best pool alarm, you should be well on your way to safe and sound pool.

This small gadget can save a family member or pet from drowning. Here’s what you should know when choosing the best pool alarm for your swimming pool, including the various types of products available for both inground and above ground pools. #swimming #poolonomics

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