If you are wondering which pool alarm should you get then you are right, there are quite a number of different choices of different types of alarms. If you did not get one installed when you installed your pool then there are other types available that you can use.

A pool alarm is a really essential piece of equipment to keep safe most often children and animals who may be liable to fall in the pool. But obviously it can detect any adult as well who may be vulnerable to falling in. Children under 4 are those who are most likely to drown in a swimming pool so if you have young children and a pool then you are probably going to want to get a pool alarm. Having a pool cover will not stop a small child from drowning as they can drown in a very small amount of water.

683 drownings occurred in swimming pools in the USA between 2005 and 2009 according to the CDC so you have to wonder how many of these lives could have been saved if a pool alarm had been fitted?

Check out our page on the different types of pool alarm to get further information on each type and which one might be best to use in your pool.

If you don’t have the space or the money to get a swimming pool, and you have kids that love to splash about, then you may want to just get a paddling pool for the summer to take some of the heat off! There are many options available and you can get a range of paddling pools from small cheap, easy to fill ones, to paddling pools that come in the shape of animals etc.

What you really want to keep an eye out for is to make sure you get a paddling pool that is suitable for the age of the children who are going to use it. You can check on the packaging which age group each paddling pool is intended for. most paddling pools specify that they should not be used by children under 3 so you should be aware of this. However, if you have a baby or toddler who is fond of the water (like I do!) then a small paddling pool where you are constantly supervising them (i.e. preferably always in the water with them), could be an answer. You should NEVER leave a small child alone in a paddling pool as they could drown in the smallest amount of water – this information is printed on all paddling pools just to reinforce the message.

If you live somewhere where it is really quite hot then you may want to invest in a paddling pool that also has a cover built in. This will stop the heat of the sun beating down on the children although obviously sunscreen should still be applied. There are many pools that come with detachable shade covers or you could put the paddling pool under a gazebo style structure.

With paddling pools, it’s like anything, you get what you pay for. If you want a better quality pool that will last longer you may need to go for a pool with thicker plastic to prevent holes and leaks. Check the weight of the plastic on the packaging.

You can also get pools with small slides attached which can be really fun for the kids. With kids hitting the bottom of the pool at speed you might want to put some rubber mats under the pool to also stop anything puncturing the pool and causing leaks – you can get hold of rubber jigsaw style mats that can be used for many things – although often these are not that cheap.

If you are looking for a paddling pool for the summer then check out some of our picks below – we have chosen some options for both the UK and the US readers so you can see a few things that are available:

US readers have a massive selection of baby pools and family pools at really cheap prices – in fact it is really difficult to pick just a few options but here are some we have chosen:

For UK readers there is also a good selection although not always as cheap as the US!

Winter is a great time to consider a major clean of your pool if it is not being used for a few months. You may need to drain the pool and clean the liner and if you have a tiled pool then consider making any repairs to missing tiles or grouting. In extreme cases where maintenance has not been done for a while you may need to completely regrout the pool or replace the pool liner. Although it can be a bit of a daunting task there are plenty of pool companies out there that will come and do the job for you in a matter of hours or a couple of days, depending on the size of the pool and the job in hand.

This is really a case of a stitch in time saves nine and to keep the pool in top condition will enable you to use it for many years to come and to prevent what may be possible longer term damage to the pool surface. Perhaps you just need to do some minor repairs to some damage to the pool liner, in which case you can do this without emptying the pool. It may well be worth getting in a pool company just to do an inspection of the pool liner in case there are any issues that you may have missed, these can then be rectified and you know that you will have full use of your pool in the months that matter and will not have to stop using it when it is really needed!

If the pool does not need any repairs but you are not going to be using it over the winter, then be sure to get a good cover for the pool that not only stops leaves and debris falling into the pool, but also is safe for anyone so that they cannot get trapped under the pool cover. It is best to double check the installation of any pool cover to ensure safety for children and animals.

So I recently saw this video on YouTube of someone who had a massive pool full of giant animal inflatables and firstly it made me laugh, but secondly I got to thinking there were a whole load of them that you could get hold of! I do remember as a kid having an inflatable canoe type thing that was in the shape of a dolphin that was a favorite of the family whenever we headed to the beach or to our friends’ pool but I don’t think there was such a massive array of giant animal inflatables around then so that was likely only one of a few that were available (and of course a dolphin is not an animal!).

Anyway, so I thought I would take a look around for what kind of inflatables you can buy these days and found a whole load of stuff. I also found a giant inflatable King Kong but that is another story. The giant inflatable monkey to the left is 5 feet tall which sounds pretty big to me. Also the killer whale on the right is a good option for pool or beach at a very reasonable price and I had to add in an inflatable dolphin even though it is not in the shape of a canoe!

So, veering back to land animals and in particular African land animals I also found this inflatable zebra. You can also get this on a bigger size for a bigger price but this one looks pretty good for starters.

In terms of other giant animal inflatables there are quite a few dinosaur inflatables and on the left is a Tyrannosaurus inflatable as a good example.

Click on any of these options and you are sure to get an even larger selection and hopefully exactly what you are looking for. These options are from the US Amazon site so may not be available to all.



If you are searching for nice swimming pools with a view to installing one in your back garden then there are plenty of options to choose from. However, what might be a nice swimming pool for one person may not be for another. Obviously if you have plenty of money to spend then you can get a custom built pool to exactly your own design and you will get the pool of your dreams, but most of the time people have a budget in mind with which they can build their own swimming pool. Read the rest of this entry

There are a few different types of pool chlorinators and it may depend on what type of pool that you have as to which method you choose. You can also choose to keep your pool clean by methods that do not use chlorine but chlorine has been the best proven tool for keeping water clean and, if used correctly, should not cause any harm to anyone using the pool. Read the rest of this entry

Pool alarms are really important in terms of safety but in particular if you have small children who are not yet good swimmers. They can also be useful if you have pets. A pool alarm will sound when anything enters the pool and causes movement. For more complex alarms you need to set the level of movement so that the alarm doesn’t just go off when anything enters the pool. This can be quite annoying if say you have bad weather and you have twigs and the likes going into the water.

So, for those alarms it is important to calibrate them correctly so that the alarm does go off. If you have a simple alarm that does not have a calibration setting then at least that is better than the risk of a child falling in the pool accidentally.

There are a wide range of swimming pool alarms and you can pay anything from $20 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of the system.

If you are building a pool from scratch then it is useful to consider the pool alarm system before you have the pool built as you can incorporate a more sophisticated pool alarm in the plans of the swimming pool.

An easy to install pool alarm can just float on the top of the water. Even some of these alarms have calibrated settings for the size of a wave created by an object falling in the pool and also have low battery alarms so that you know the pool alarm battery needs replacing.

Don’t panic if you have a leak in your pool liner. It is possible to repair the leak (and quite often without having to drain the water) – but you need to do it as soon as possible so that the tear or rip does not get any bigger.

You can buy pool repair kits that are either for use under the water level or on a dry pool. Obviously it is going to be a little harder to repair a leak at the bottom of the pool but if you repair it quickly then it may save you from having to replace the whole pool liner.

It may be worth putting in a patch repair in the summer while you are using the pool and then doing a comprehensive repair in the winter (with an empty pool perhaps). At this point, if you need to, you can replace the pool liner.

So if you are thinking of installing a pool in your garden or yard, now is a good time to start the planning process and to start your investigations as to what type of pool you would like to have and what kind of optional extras will need installing at the time of the pool.

Firstly do you want an inground pool or an above ground pool? There are obviously advantages and disadvantages of each and so you need to assess those. Although an inground pool can cost more to install it certainly can look better than an above ground pool, can be easier to access and will perhaps be more long lasting. You can also completely customize the design, size and shape of an in ground pool to fit the area that you have available.

Once you have assessed all of the options and decided on a design or purchase, don’t forget to think about whether you want any kind of in-built alarm, what access you will need to the pool (enclosure/ladders etc) and any kind of security measures for children and animals.

Starting off the planning process in the winter means that you should be able to have full use of your new pool once the summer approaches and you can make the most of the great advantages of having your own home pool.

If you are looking for a pool that you can put up in the summer and take down again in the winter then a standalone metal framed pool could be just what you need. Taking the pool down when you do not need it will save on maintenance costs and also on water as well as keeping the pool in good condition and allowing use of the garden where the pool may otherwise sit.

There are a number of steel framed swimming pools and it is best to make sure that you get one that will have enough room for the family to use and also one that comes with its own pool pump. You will need to buy chemicals to keep the pool water safe and clean but these can be found at any pool supplies store or even online.

This type of pool is great to get if you are thinking of having an inground pool installed in your garden but you are not sure about whether it will get used enough or if it will be worthwhile. If you buy a pool like this then it can always be sold on afterwards to help offset the cost of a permanent pool.

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