Design Construct Manage

Best easy access steps for Lifeguards and Poolview

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It was great to go to site this week and finally see this particular design of easy access steps for the main pool tank. This particular site was the latest Places Leisure new build

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One of the problems we (and Lifeguards) have had to overcome in recent times is with the design of easy access steps.

Many have had an “underwater wall” as shown in this example which creates blind spots for the Lifeguards.

Steps are also traditionally positioned on the opposite side of the pool to where the steps are designed in and the “blind spot” can be problematic to manage.

Delighted to see this positive “step” forward in swimming pool design

Another Poolview installation commissioned and handed over - Blended Lifeguarding at its best!

Understanding Drowning Detection Systems and their benefits

We frequently get asked to explain what the various types of drowning detection systems are and how they work.

So, to try and help answer – described below are some of the main systems available in the market and their key features. Drowning Detection Systems (DDS) are also referred to as ‘technology driven systems or devices available to help protect swimmers’.

There are 4 general types:

Underwater CCTV Cameras

Providing additional essential vision to lifeguards through underwater viewing such as Poolview

These systems are a passive aid which require the Lifeguard to interact with in a pro-active way as part of their 10:20 scan. This system does not include “automatic drowning detection" software.

Poolview™ - Safer Swimming System

Computer Vision System for the detection of drowning accidents

This system tracks swimmer activity and can trigger a sequence and a variety of alarm levels depending on its configuration. Manufacturers include Poolview™, SwimEye™, AngelEye and Poseidon

These software driven detection systems all use “computer vision” at the core of their capability.

Poolview Plus™ operates in a different way from the other systems as it is an interactive system, designed for the Lifeguards and First Responders and combines architecture, software, algorithms and methods for triggering an alert before activating a full alarm and in many peoples opinion is the most accurate, robust and dependable system available today.

Poolview Plus™

Wristbands with software aided monitoring and automatic alarms

These detect when wristbands worn by swimmers remain below a certain depth over a pre-determined time e.g. SenTag, BlueFox

Swimmers are monitored via the wristbands which contain sensor and worn at all times in the swimming facility. Sensitive receivers in the pool raises an alarm if a potential drowning is taking place.

SenTag

Personal Independent Wristband Protection

These are independent and stand alone wearable technology devices – worn by individuals, BlueFox ST1 recognises the depth you are swimming in and measures the time you spending below a certain depth.

Once you exceed the preset duration it will release a balloon with a loud siren to the water surface. This noisy alarm will attract the attention of all people within the vicinity. 

No installation of any sort is required e.g. BlueFox ST1

BlueFox ST1

Technology is moving fast..............

Technology and installation issues have moved forward greatly since the publication of a “Drowning Detection System Briefing Note” by Sport England in 2011  The Leisure Industry is fast accepting that technology not only plays a key role in enhancing swimmer safety, but also supporting flexibility and efficiencies with staffing rotations, swimming pool timetables and systems of work. 

By embracing technology, there are opportunities to both increase swimmer safety and manage your lifeguarding resource more efficiently and effectively. This will be recognised and reconciled within each pools bespoke Risk Assessment.

Operators are generally much more open to incorporating technology within their Standard Operating Procedures and fully understand the benefits. Gone are the physical constraints which once proved to be an obstacle, such as moving floors and bulk heads etc.

Robin McGloughlin, Business Development Director at Poolview explains “we have the ability to install Drowning Detection Systems into ANY pool, no matter what shape, finish or size without the need to drain the pool or interfere with normal day to day swimming programmes.  Currently around 75% of our installations would be retro-fit i.e. after the pool is filled and open.  Rest assured, we will offer and provide the perfect solution for your individual pool, programme, staffing ethos and environment.”

It is preferable to incorporate some infrastructure into the basic building design at an early stage rather than later when costs can very quickly escalate when “variation orders” are made.

Poolview Limited, are recognised as “industry experts” within this field and are in the position to supply the complete range of solutions for any pool, working closely with your management team to ensure seamless integration and support.

For more information visit http://www.poolview.co.uk/ or call +44 (0)77 6874 6789.

 

 

5 good reasons to future proof your new swimming pool

Are you in the process of building a new swimming pool and/or leisure centre?
...pondering whether or not to have a 4 a 6 or even an 8 court main hall?
...how many square metres in gym?
...what about a soft play area?
...how many covers do we need for the café?
..25metre pool or 50metre?
...moving floor or not? etc. etc. etc.

All of these questions I would suggest will be considered and answers may well be dictated by budget.

BUT (and it is a big but), have you considered including provision for Drowning Prevention Technology (DPT) to support your lifeguards?

Over the last 8 years when I did manage to speak directly with architects and project managers responsible for overseeing new builds the stock answer has been "we considered drowning prevention technology, but rejected it”.  Just like that! End of conversation, no further debate!

Now, if I told you that in the last 3 years we have “drilled holes” in shiny new pools who 2, 3, or 5 years ago gave me that answer - would you stop and think?

The harsh reality about building a new swimming pool and leisure centre is that it's a minefield, it's like putting together a “perfect meal” that everyone will enjoy, pleasing some of the people all of the time, it's a difficult job I know, I have built and managed a few in my time!

Every single “sales person” in the country thinks that their product is an absolute must in any new facility and "how can you possibly build something new without my product, which is the latest and the best thing since sliced bread?”

You might not believe this, I didn’t write this article to sell or promote Poolview™, SwimEye™, SenTag or Bluefox (well maybe just a little), this is all about protecting your investment, thinking ahead, giving those who follow an opportunity to really look at DPT if you didn’t include it within the initial package.

Whether or not you believe in DPT “today” - what about next year or five years down the line?

Plan your DPT containment BEFORE it gets to this stage!

Does it not make good business sense to at the absolute and very least make provision for the future? It really is such a minuscule part of a new build project to include “containment within the pool” for another day.

The vast majority of new pools have lights fitted - the vast majority of pools that I visit either don’t use them or they are broken (although LED technology is changing the reliability) - but still, light fittings are there for all to see.

So, if you are involved in a new build project, please, please, please, at the very least, cast in eight or so additional blank housings and containment, so that someday, someone in the future could, if they wished, make use of them to add DPT to their pool.

Cameras, hydrophones or whatever is coming at a later date can then be easily installed without someone having to drill a hole through your pool!

I have overseen a dozen or so pools that wanted to include DPT, but at the time, the will nor the budget were there. The niches were tiled over and remain un-noticed, waiting for the day when they are needed.

Thanks to a few individuals with vision, we have 'popped' a few of these tiles off after a number of years and now installing DPT a little easier than it could have been.

I’m always available to offer free no obligation advice - it might just save someone, somewhere, sometime in the future, one less thing to worry about!

Poolview - Commercial & Specialised Diving Ltd

We started on site tonight the 3rd Poolview installation of the month, alongside our diving partners "Commercial & Specialised Diving Ltd" who are "core drilling" the pool tank - allowing us to install our flush fit camera housings within the two pools with moving floors.

Preparing for Poolview core drilling of the tank.

All our work is carried out when the facility is closed, no disruption to your activity programme, no need to drain your pool !

Poolview Safer Swimming Systems - providing "Additional Essential Vision" to Lifeguards

  • Increasing Safety
  • Improving efficiency
  • Reducing overheads

"Challenging Preconceived Ideas" 

Early New Build Site Meeting for Poolview Ltd

We were on site today at one of the NINE new build projects on which we are currently specified to install our Poolview Safer Swimmer System.

Early days yet on this one, but great to see the steel work up. Next time we are back, the building will be wind and weather proofed and the pool will be tiled ready for our cameras.

We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to get us involved "BEFORE" the tank is cast!

Poolview - providing "Additional Essential Vision" to Lifeguards

Poolview - New Build Projects

The more new-build projects on the way.

It's been a busy and enjoyable couple of weeks, meeting new people whilst conducting site surveys. Great to report that we have been appointed to install Poolview in three more new build projects and have secured another retro-fit project - all good - Poolview is continuing to provide "additional essential vision" for lifeguards

The earlier we are involved in a project - even before specifications are finalised - the more cost effective our solution

 

Water Clarity

Without good clarity our cameras are blind to see - look at these views down and across our last install in a 25m pool - incredible and a credit to the "plant team".

It is a fine art (some say dark) understanding how to maintain your water quality, but throw in the need for crystal clarity and you really need to know how your plant ticks, lives and breaths!

Most folk who swim do not realize the expertise, cost, time and effort required to maintain a perfect pool.

It takes a combined effort to provide "Additional Essential Vision" for Lifeguards

Moving Floor - No Problem!

Tonight we are on site core drilling a swimming pool with a moving floor and boom. No need to close or drain your pool - we work at night when your facility is closed and insert our Poolview Cameras into the recesses when drilling is complete. This allows moving floors and booms to pass freely past our cameras without obstruction. Poolview - providing "Additional Essential Vision" to even more lifeguards nationwide!