Pool Safety by CCTV Camera WorldSwimming has been a growing sport in the world for years. From colleges and the Olympic games, to your neighborhood swimming pool and your own backyard. Every summer, the number of people swimming goes up immensely as everyone wants relief from the heat. While swimming is an excellent form of both exercise and recreation, it also can be a lifesaving skill for yourself and others. Every year many people lose their lives in an untimely manner due to drowning. This is incredibly sad but also very preventable. Every pool owner, whether private or public, must take the proper steps to prevent these accidents from taking place. For all public pools in America, it is a law that there must be lifeguards on duty at all times. However, with busy pools, it is simply impossible to watch everyone at once. You have to take the proper measures to prevent accidents in your swimming pools. With technology as advanced as it is today, more and more people are turning to security cameras as a preventative measure to aid lifeguards and to counter accidents.

Often times these incidents can occur for reasons ranging from diving accidents, playing around in the pool, boating accidents, alcohol inhibiting judgment, the list goes on. The few constants are people not taking their safety serious enough, inadequate security and prevention methods in place, and because of the high rate of infant and young children accidents, parents that are not using the proper care and consideration around pools and open water. Your safety and the safety of your loved ones must be first priority before anything else. And for business owners, you must protect yourself from lawsuits resulting from accidents and misjudgment.

Swimming Accident Statistics

Let’s dive into some statistics about swimming related incidents.  From 2011 on, there have been up to 4,000 deaths annually in the United States, about 390 of them being children ages 0-14.  The risk of death from drowning for children of ages 1-4 years old is especially high making up 65% of these accidents. More than 4,500 injuries are reported every year, with most of these injuries leading to hospitalization from drowning or other physical injuries. Over 50% of all injuries and accidents occur at the victims home.  These are very frightening realizations. So many of these accidents occur in our own backyards due to lack of supervision, negligence and distractions. Also, in almost all cases, there is no lifeguard on duty in home swimming areas. These accidents are inexcusable and absolutely preventable. We must all do our part to make our swimming areas safe for everyone. Technology can be the biggest factor in preventing these types of accidents, especially in areas without lifeguards present.

Common Causes

There are many factors that go into swimming related accidents and deaths. Some of these are surprising, and most can be prevented with using some common sense. The number one key is to be proactive about your safety.

Lack of swimming ability: Many children and adults report that they simply have never learned to swim. This is one of the biggest factors in these incidents, especially for children 4 years and younger that have not become old enough for swimming lessons. Everyone should learn to swim, younger the better. Not only for fun and recreation but also because this is a very important life saving skill.

Failure to wear proper life jackets and protective equipment: In almost all accidents involving drowning, the victim was not wearing proper safety equipment.  For anyone that doesn’t know how to swim or anyone on a boat or in open water, life jackets should be worn. These could very well save your life.

Lack of supervision: As already stated, in busy public areas lifeguards simply do not have the capacity to watch everyone at once. The first step is prevention, you need to be just as aware of where your children are as the lifeguard. Especially at home in your backyard, do not leave children unattended. Accidents happen when you least expect it.

Lack of barriers: While many States have laws that require barriers around backyard pools, not all States have passed such laws. Statistics show that many home related drowning incidents occur when the parents are unaware the children are in the pool. For children 4 years and younger that make up a huge portion of youth drowning cases, open pools lead to accidental falls into the pool when there is no one around.

Alcohol: With alcohol normally comes bad decisions. For adults in drowning cases, many times there is alcohol involved. This just leads to poor judgment, and decreased perception of what is dangerous. Especially in backyard pool and boating accidents, alcohol has played a big part over the years. Be careful and use good judgment.

Advancements in swimming safety

Technology is progressing at a rapid rate and is changing every facet of our daily lives, including swimming safety. Drowning is often rated one of the most preventable causes of death in America. By utilizing some of these technological options you can make your home or business safer.  

Security camera systems are consistently becoming the best solution to aid in preventing deaths. Camera systems enable you to get a view above and below the water, and when there is actually anyone around the pool itself. Special underwater cameras are designed to get a view of what is happening underneath the water, providing a valuable view that exceeds the capabilities of a lifeguard’s high perched view.  For home use these camera systems enable you to monitor things even when you are away from home. You will know when there are people in the pool area and if they are supervised. You can even integrate motion sensors to your camera system or use built-in video based motion detection on security cameras to detect any movement in the area. The footage that is recorded will also be valuable footage for legal reasons in the unfortunate event of a lawsuit or other legal action. It is incredibly important to have cameras in place as a preventative measure and to aid in the life saving abilities of lifeguards.

Video Camera Solutions

When choosing to take safety into your hands and install cameras around your pool, there are many different options to choose from. First, there are many expensive yet poor quality solutions that are available and marketed specifically for pool monitoring. Here is an example of a low quality camera solution. This is a very unreliable and low quality security camera that is being marketed at an exaggerated cost. Our research showed that such low quality cameras are being marketed for pool security purposes through different online vendors. We suggest you completely skip over these.

There are also very specialized and professional camera systems that are available for those with deep pockets that are becoming prevalent in public areas. One camera system that deserves the honorable mention is the Poseidon camera system.  This is an incredibly advanced and top of the line camera and life saving system that is specific to drowning prevention and is not suited for general security use. While it comes with a very hefty price tag, over $60,000 for the whole setup, this is a top of the line system that is number 1 in drowning detection. It is a high tech system that monitors both above and below the water. When it detects someone is in need, it sets off an alarm indicating the issue.  It’s video feed is constantly monitored at viewing stations on the lifeguard posts. To date, its use has saved almost 30 lives in the UK where it was first implemented.

There are many options to choose from, but you should strongly consider establishing a security system to monitor your pool and open water areas. When it comes to the welfare of your children,and your loved ones do not skip over these important factors. A simple security system can be your eyes when you are away, leaving you with the knowledge and peace of mind that security can provide. And for business owners or public pool areas, these security camera systems will aid your lifesaving team in knowing exactly who is around and what they are doing.  Without these types of systems in place the outcomes can be horrendous. Injuries and even deaths are very prevalent in pool areas where the outside of the pool can become very wet and slick, causing falling injuries of all kinds, concussions included. The ultimate fear for parents across the world is that their child will be hurt. Death or brain injuries from drowning are 100% preventable with proper prevention techniques in place. Business owners are susceptible to lawsuits and legal action if someone is hurt on their property. Prevention and fast response when it matters are the only way to combat these types of accidents.

Using regular security cameras for pool safety

From very cheap off the shelf systems at a big department store to the top of the line Poseidon system, there are many options to choose from when selecting your security camera system. This article is going to demonstrate how to choose a professional grade, quality system that will meet your needs at an affordable cost.  Do not listen to the naysayers, you can have professional grade quality systems without breaking your budget. This article will take you through the setup and configuration steps

Using standard CCTV cameras for pool surveillance

Security cameras are an excellent choice for the purpose of preventing accidents and monitoring your swimming area.  Because of their affordability and time tested reliability, this camera type is great for public use or when you need several cameras to canvass an area. Because of their lower price per camera, you can use several in a very cost effective manner without sacrificing quality.  There are even submersible security cameras that enable you to view underwater, and these types of cameras are analog only. So if this is something you require then analog is most definitely the way to go.

A single CCTV camera of the analog type can be ran and connected directly to a TV through its RCA connectors. This is perfect if you just want live monitoring with a single camera from a lifeguard station or something along those lines. To record this footage or monitor multiple cameras at one time, it is important and required to get a security camera DVR to use in conjunction with the cameras to make this setup a full cctv camera system. Analog DVRs can definitely be had on the cheap, and you do not need to have a large amount of hard drive storage to record analog cameras. Overall, the system would still be very affordable for the average home or business owner. The best part however, you can link your DVR with your internet and computers to make cameras viewable from wherever you are, and even have multiple viewing stations on your premises by using a computer or iPad as a viewing station. You can even use a streaming service  like uStream to broadcast video to a website. For example, a community pool can turn their system into an attraction that any neighborhood user can watch, helpful for promotion and community interaction.

Using high definition IP security cameras for pool surveillance

IP cameras are superior to analog cameras in functionality and visual quality. Simply put, with IP cameras you have a lot more options with your security camera system. The downside is that individually and as a whole system, IP cameras are expensive because they are able to produce HD video. You will quickly see the price add up when you are looking at a IP camera system with multiple cameras. There is also no IP camera that is designed to be submersible. For users that want the best visual quality and features however, IP cameras are an excellent choice.

There are several situations where IP cameras may be the best solution. If you are only going to be using one camera, then perhaps you would want something with superior visual quality to monitor the area. In the situations where you do not need to record and instead just need a live monitoring feed, a HD NVR Camera System will be an excellent choice due to the ease of connecting it to the internet. While not a standard feature, some IP cameras even come equipped with an onboard SD card slot for recording on the camera itself. For recording needs other than this, IP cameras are not the most economical solution. You would either need a costly remote viewing service, or connection to a computer with a large amount of hard drive storage for the high quality recording. For multiple IP cameras you would need an NVR to record and monitor all these cameras in one central place. While many users find this a practical and useful system, the downside is NVRs and multiple IP cameras will add up in cost.

Setting up a cost effective Pool Camera System

As mentioned above, analog security cameras are the recommended camera type to establish a monitoring system for your pool. The 3 most important factors that make them preferable are:

  • They are inexpensive
  • There are submersible cameras available in analog type, making underwater security affordable and possible
  • They are easy to setup and require little or no configuration

Just to show you how easy it is to setup a camera system, we’ve listed the steps involved in wiring everything together. Of course camera shape can vary, but dome cameras and bullet cameras are the most popular.

One Camera Observation System

A single camera observation system is basically a camera connected to a TV. This is great for live monitoring or viewing of the pool without recording video. This is the most inexpensive method and only requires the following equipment:

Here are the steps for connecting and powering your one camera system:

  1. Take your camera pigtail and connect it to the security camera wire. Note there are two connector on the cable: yellow for video and red for power.
  2. Run the cable in the manner you choose to the location of the TV.
  3. Connect the RCA video connector on the cable to the back of your TV.
  4. Connect the Camera Power Adaptor to the power connector on the cable.
  5. Connect the power adaptor to a 110V AC outlet to power the camera.
  6. Turn your TV on and switch input source to the RCA or composite video input

And you are done. In 6 simple steps you can save numerous lives over the years!

Four Camera System with Recording

Now for multiple camera systems, the steps are different but still very simple. As already stated, you will need a Digital Video Recorder for a multiple camera system.

Here is a list of equipment you will need

Note that the security camera recorder (DVR) we listed above is with a 500GB hard drive. Having internal storage space allows the DVR to record video which can come in handy. It also happens to be that the smallest video recorder available can support up to 4 cameras.

Below is a list of the simple steps involved for making the connections.

  1. First you will need to connect a TV or computer monitor to your DVR so you can see video from the cameras as they are connected.
  2. Make sure both the monitor and DVR are connected to power and are powered on.
  3. Connect cameras to the DVR and power adaptors:
  • Take the camera’s video and power connections and connect them to the security camera cable.
  • Run the cabling for the camera back to the DVR
  • Connect the video cables to the back of the DVR.
  • Connect the power connector to the power adaptors
  • Repeat these steps for each camera

And you are done! You now will have all of your security cameras connected to one central device for recording and viewing purposes.


Don Stephens is a Technical Support Manager at CCTV Camera World, a leading Security Camera distributor located in Buffalo, NY. His area of expertise is in designing professional security camera systems for medium and large scale businesses, schools, and government projects.

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