By Sai Reddy, Founder/CEO of CamerEye™
Summer is almost here, and children, who have been confined to their homes due to Covid-19 restrictions, are eager— maybe even impatient—to laugh, splash and play in their family swimming pools once again. Their parents are eager as well, yet express strong concerns about safety—with good reason.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children who are one-to-four years old, the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children one-to-fourteen years old, and is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States.
Even if people survive a swimming pool accident, an estimated twenty percent of drowning victims suffer severe, permanent neurological disability. More than ninety-eight percent of pool drownings occur at home. Fortunately, drowning is preventable in many ways.
As a service technician, you have a unique opportunity—even a responsibility—to inform your poolowner customers about the best methods to keep their children safe. That’s why you should know about the latest pool surveillance technology using artificial intelligence. We’ll get to that information shortly.
Layers of Protection
Over half of drownings occur in above-ground pools with unsafe ladders. Almost all of these drownings could have been prevented by the effective use of locks, latches, safety ladders and fences. The term “layers of protection” includes multiple strategies or devices to keep the whole family—especially young children—safe in the family swimming pool.
The first layer of protection is supervising children at all times when they are in or near the water. Parents must be fully aware of potential dangers in all environments, such as when their kids are visiting other homes, while on vacation or at public/community pools. Swimming lessons are also a vital layer of protection for children and adults. Physical barriers are important but once the barrier is compromised, the risk of a potential drowning becomes even higher. Another layer of protection includes alarm systems.
Traditional alarms such as door/gate alarms, water surface sensors, motion sensors, etc. are helpful, but they under perform either due to a high false alarm rate or low reliability. These sensors are usually discarded or silenced due to the nuisance they cause. Advancements in technology can limit the false alarm rate and improve detection accuracy. Alarms are generally the last line of defense.
Technology-assisted alarms can quickly inform the concerned group of individuals (parents, owners, neighbors, first responders) at the same time using cloud-based automation software to ensure the fastest response in an emergency situation.
Today, many people manage their homes—inside and out—using their smartphones. All it takes is Wi-Fi, a good automation system and a few minutes of set-up time. With various devices on the market, though, what should you, as a pool service technician, tell your customers to consider when choosing a smart technology system for their poolmonitoring? Here are a few ideas: 1. Encourage them to find a system with a faster detection time (before the risk of injury is too high).
2. Advise them to choose a system with high reliability; i.e., a smart device that works and operates in most cases.
3. Emphasize the importance of selecting a monitoring system that cannot miss any true detection.
4. Remind them to find one with fewer false alarms.
5. Point out that it’s a good idea to choose a system that provides more information than just an alarm. This means livestream, video footage, type of alarms, etc.
6. Tell them it is a good idea to decide on a pool-monitoring method that is easy to install and easy to use.
There have been new products in the pool tech market leveraging artificial intelligence to solve the problem of water safety. It is important to learn about how artificial intelligence can be used from a lifeguarding perspective to look for a certain behavior involving distress at very early stages to reduce the risk of drowning accidents.
As a service tech, you care about the safety of your customers and their loved ones. Many times, though, you likely get requests/queries about what types of safety alarms are now available. Understandably, this can be confusing. You want to help your customers, but due to the abundance of low-reliability alarms, you generally cannot recommend any specific products. That is why it is important for you to stay updated on the latest and improved technology products for your customers.
CamerEye pictured above