Alarms

Alarms for doors, gates, windows and pools or spas are safety features designed to alert adults when unsupervised children enter the area of the pool or spa.

Alarm imageTo alert adults when unsupervised children enter the pool or spa area, families can use an alarm system for gates, doors, windows and pools or spas. These are effective protective measures to employ in residential and public settings.

There are a number of different types of alarms that can be used in and around a pool or spa. These alarms, which emit an audible sound when triggered, include:

  • Gate alarms that are mounted on the pool or spa gate and have magnetic switches that activate when the gate is opened.
  • Door alarms that are used when a house serves as the fourth wall of the perimeter of a pool, which activate when the house door is opened.
  • Window alarms that, like door alarms, are used if the house makes up a wall of the pool perimeter and activate when the window is opened.
  • Pool or spa floating or wave alarms that are mounted on the edge of the pool or in the water and activate when water is displaced.

Recommendations on Alarms

  • The alarm should sound for 30 seconds or more, and within 7 seconds after it is activated.
  • Alarms should meet the requirements of UL 2017 General-Purpose Signaling Devices and Systems, Section 77.
  • The alarm should be loud: at least 85 dBA (decibels) when measured 10 feet away from the alarm mechanism.
  • The alarm sound should be distinct from other sounds in the house, such as the telephone, doorbell and smoke alarm.
  • The alarm should have an automatic reset feature. The alarm should have a switch that allows adults to temporarily deactivate the alarm for up to 15 seconds. The deactivation switch could be a touchpad (keypad) or a manual switch, and should be located out of reach of children.

View the Pool Safely educational videos on pool and spa alarms and other topics.

Who is Virginia Graeme Baker?

Seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker’s tragic death inspired her family to advocate for pool and spa safety and moved Congress to act to prevent entrapments. 
Read more about her story
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The Pool and Spa Safety Act: Staff interpretation and updates

 

Find the most up to date requirements for the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.