Garden Pond Safety
So you've worked hard and invested a considerable amount of time and money into creating a beautiful garden pond. You love it and it provides a peaceful oasis for you in your garden. Despite all of this, we know that safety is an extremely important consideration when water is involved. So how does yours measure up?
It's a fact that garden ponds pose a hazard to children. Unfortunately on occasion small children can and do drown in ponds. Indeed in the UK, an average of five young children drown in ponds every year. Such incidents can happen extremely quickly and it is difficult to always know exactly where your children are. They can disappear from view in an instant. If you have small children then sadly the safest and surest option is to drain your pond, at least until the kids are old enough to understand and appreciate the dangers and perhaps can stand tall enough or swim.
[caption id="attachment_193" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Photo of a child jumping in a puddle via Unsplash (CC0 1.0)[/caption]
If children do have access to your garden, whatever their relationship to you, and you do wish to keep your pond then you should certainly take steps to ensure that it is made as safe as possible. Your first option is to cover it with a metal grille. If you do this then check the grille regularly to make sure that it is up to the task. Another option at your disposal is fencing. A fence should be at least 1.1m high and any access points such as gates should be kept locked and the keys hidden away from little hands. Fences can engender a false sense of security, though. Kids love climbing fences and a determined toddler may surprise you with what they can scale.
If you don't have any children yourself then you still can't ignore the safety implications of your pond. Your family and other visitors may have small children and they will be fascinated by the water, especially if it is stocked with brightly coloured fish. If children ever visit your garden then you could go as far as providing self-inflating lifejackets for them just in case.
Some ponds are surprisingly deep. In addition, even shallow water can prove fatal for an adult if they fall and knock themselves unconscious. This might seem unlikely but it can happen, particularly at night when a pond might be harder to spot. It is well worth you investing in pond lighting as if this is properly placed it can enhance safety as well as creating atmosphere in the garden. You should also illuminate any paths which lead to the pond so that anyone who wants to take a look can walk safely across your garden.
Pond Pumps and Other Electricals
This might sound a little obvious, but water and electricity is a dangerous cocktail. If your pond features a pond pump, pond lighting or any other electrical devices you must be sure that they are installed correctly and that they are appropriate for your pond. Read all instructions carefully and if you are still not sure how to proceed then seek the assistance of a qualified electrician.
Your pond is a beautiful and uplifting feature but it can all too easily lead to tragedy. It is always better to be safe than sorry. To protect yourself, your family and your visitors, think about what you can do to make your pond safer.