Best Pool Alarms
If you have a backyard pool, you (hopefully) know the importance of safety. This is especially true if you have small children or pets. An accident can happen at any time and your best defense against the unimaginable is to be prepared.
This is where alarm systems come in handy. These devices can be found floating in pools, installed to doorways or even on the wrist of a water-loving curious toddler. There are so many options on the market right now and it can get very overwhelming and confusing to choose which will work best for your needs. That’s why we are here, though, to take the guesswork out of pool alarm shopping for you. Read on to find which are the best options on the market right now and see what other criteria you should look for when you begin your hunt for the best alarm.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 2.6 hrs of research
Great customer service
Easy to set up
Provides great peace of mind
- Safety Turtle 2.0
- Poolguard DAPT-2 Door Alarm
- Techko S187D
- Poolguard GAPT-2
- PoolGuard PGRM-2
- PoolGuard PHRMSB Safety Buoy
- SafetyTech SafeFamily Life Alarm
- Pool Patrol PA-30
- SmartPool PE23
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
Great customer service
Easy to set up
Provides great peace of mind
The alarm may be too sensitive
This option from Lifebuoy Pool Alarm is designed to sound an alarm whenever something substantial falls into the water. It’s comprised of several sensors that will detect any movement with its long-range radio frequency.Read more
The sound and length of the alarm siren are controllable via the Lifebuoy app that accompanies this product.
This product is the most expensive option on our top ten list. We loved its special features, however, and still awarded it the top spot in our buying guide because of its rave reviews and high-quality construction.
The Lifebuoy is designed to float on the surface of your pool. This is one of the most technologically advanced options on our list as it is easily controlled and monitored with the accompanying Lifebuoy app. Through the app, you can change the sensitivity of the alarm as well as the length of the siren.
This product is equipped with Swim Mode. It will turn off when there are swimmers in the water and once it notices that the water has been inactive for ten minutes, it will automatically reactivate itself.
Some current users of the Lifebuoy state that this alarm is fairly sensitive. Some commented that if the pool pump is set too high, the alarm can go off. Though this might be inconvenient for some people, one must remember that the goal of this type of product is to save the life of a child. A small inconvenience now and then is worth it knowing that the alarm will work in the event on an emergency.
2. Safety Turtle 2.0
System lasts 3-5 years
Has a low battery light to notify you its time to buy a new system
Works in all pool sizes
Separate system for your pets
Batteries are not replaceable
This highly portable pool alarm alternative is a great choice for families who are always on the go. The Safety Turtle 2.0 simply straps onto your child’s wrist like a wristwatch. It can be taken with you anywhere you go on vacation without having to worry about programming or installing it.Read more
If at any time your child’s wrist gets wet, the alarm base will sound notifying you.
While this product does require a bit of an investment, it’ll be worth it in the long haul to have peace of mind when it comes to pool safety. We loved that it was portable so you can take it with you to Mexico or anywhere you’re vacationing without worrying about your little one having an accident in the pool.
This unique product is designed to be worn by your child (or pet) around their wrist (or collar). The wristband will trigger the system on as soon as the child’s wrist gets wet.
We loved this product because it comes in a cute design that will make kids want to wear it. As an added bonus, if you have more than one child or pet, you can connect them to one system. No need to purchase a whole new system.
The Safety Turtle system is very easy to use. Put the turtle on your child’s wrist and then place the base of the system within 200 ft of the pool and plug it in. It works well, almost too well some people might say. If your child is sitting on the ledge of the pool and their wrist so much as touches the water, the alarm will sound. This might be just a minor annoyance more than anything.
3. Poolguard DAPT-2 Door Alarm
Superb customer service
Alarm is very loud
Affordable price tag
Simple to install
Alarm can be easy to trip
Can eat up a lot of batteries
This product is a little different than other options on our list as it doesn’t actually go in the pool but instead on your door. You will want to install this on the door that leads to your pool. This makes this product very versatile in that it can be used to protect your little ones from entering the pool area and also on the front door to alert you if your child is exiting that way.Read more
If your child were to open the door that the alarm is installed on, a siren will sound within seven seconds until someone comes to reset it. Even if your little one were to close the door behind them, the siren will continue to sound. The siren sounds a bit like a smoke alarm so it’ll definitely be something that you will be able to hear.
This alarm is very reasonably priced. It is one of the most affordable options on our list.
As mentioned above, this alarm doesn’t actually get installed in or around your pool. It’s designed to be used on the doorway that your little one would be using to get to your pool deck.
How annoying would it be if the door alarm were to go off every time you wanted to go in and out? This product has an Adult Pass-Through feature that lets adults go in and out of the door without setting off the alarm.
This alarm is very effective at what it does. Many current users purchased this in order to pass inspections before opening their pool. They had no issues at all with inspectors after installing this product.
4. Techko S187D
Has a bypass option for adults
Comes with an extra sensor
Easy to understand instructions
Not very aesthetically pleasing to look at
This product is designed to monitor a door or gateway that children could use to access your pool deck.Read more
This alarm will sound a 110 dB alarm when someone sets it off.
This is the most affordable option that you will see in our buying guide. We loved that it provides consumers with the versatility that other pool-centric alarms cannot. For example, when your child can be trusted to not enter the pool without supervision, you can use the alarm on your front door to monitor when anyone is coming and going.
Here we have another door-style alarm. It is designed to go off when the magnetic contact is broken (unless the adult bypass button is pressed). It comes with two sensors so that you are still able to have your patio’s screen door shut but the glass door open to allow airflow into your home.
This product meets all standards for the Child Pool Safety Law and will help you to pass any and all pool inspections. The alarm is always in protective mode and will trigger the siren whenever the doorway is opened.
This is a well-made alarm that will help consumers pass their pool inspections without any issues. Some consumers were annoyed with how well it worked but when you consider that this is a device meant to save lives, you can only be happy with its performance.
5. Poolguard GAPT-2
Alarm is loud
Good customer service
Nice to have the battery indicator light
Adult bypass feature
Included wire may be too long for some folks
7-second alarm delay might be too long in case of emergency
Here we have another product from Poolguard. This option differs slightly than the DAPT-2 in that it’s designed to be used outdoors on a gate. That said, it can also be installed on any door or screen.Read more
The GAPT-2 alarm is always equipped and on. The siren is designed to go off in seven seconds or less if a child opens the gate. It will sound an 85 dB horn.
This is a very affordable pool alarm option.
This product from Poolguard is approved for outdoor use. We recommend installing it on the gate that leads to your pool deck.
Similar to the DAPT-2, this product has an adult bypass feature that will allow adults to go through the gateway without tripping the alarm. It also has a low battery indicator so you know when it’s getting close to time to change the batteries.
Many current users of this product rave about how well it works. Some thought that the 85 dB wouldn’t be loud enough if you were indoors and your child tripped the alarm. This may be something to take into consideration if your home is well soundproofed.
6. PoolGuard PGRM-2
Works as advertised
Great customer service
Long battery life
Competitive price tag
Weather (wind, rain) may cause false alarms in some situations
PoolGuard is one of the leader’s in the industry when it comes to pool safety equipment and this option is certainly no exception.Read more
This alarm is equipped with an 86 dB horn.
This product is a bit more expensive than some of the other options we have recently reviewed on our list. But it is competitively priced when compared to similar products.
This is a different style than what we have showcased in our buying guide so far. This product is designed to sit on the edge of your pool. It comes with a remote receiver that will sound an alarm in your home when the unit has been activated at the pool site.
This option is tamper-proof. It will sound an alarm if it’s removed from the pool. It features a sleep mode that will allow you to swim in the pool without the alarm going off.
This product works as advertised. Current users of this alarm mentioned in their reviews that it has helped save the life of neighborhood animals.
7. PoolGuard PHRMSB Safety Buoy
Low battery indicator light
Certain weather conditions can set the alarm off
May be too sensitive
Here is another unique product from PoolGuard. Instead of being installed on a door or gateway to your pool deck, this alarm actually floats in your pool.Read more
Current users report the sound that this device has is similar to a smoke detector.
This is a fairly pricy little device. It is very sensitive, however, and will detect any and all movement in your pool. If peace of mind is important for you, we recommend this product.
This product looks exactly like a traffic cone. It’s designed to be used in any above ground pool or hot tub, but it will work for some smaller sized in-ground pools. The PoolGuard PGRMSB floats on the water in your pool and utilizes sub-surface detection technology to determine when anything more than 18 pounds enters the pool. This device comes with a remote that you keep in your home up to 200 feet away from the pool.
A really great feature of this product is that it’s the only alarm that’s NSF Certified for residential pool use. You can feel good about spending your hard-earned money on an alarm that has these credentials.
Some current users had problems getting this device to work at first. It is a quite sensitive little device also so that should be considered before you decide to purchase.
8. SafetyTech SafeFamily Life Alarm
Swim mode feature so alarm won’t go off if you’re using the pool
Not as sensitive as some other options
Not an eyesore in the pool
Alarm siren is loud
Some users found the sensitivity of the alarm to be too high
This device is designed to be used on the edge of your pool. It’s very portable, self-contained, light and easy to use.Read more
The sound that this alarm will play in event of submersion is a loud pulsating siren. It will play the sound both at the sight of the device at your poolside and at the receiver inside your home.
The price of this alarm is very moderate when we come it to other options on our list. We loved the style of this alarm.
This device is designed to sit on the edge of your in or above ground pool. It arrives with a remote receiver that can be kept inside your home so long as its closer than 200 feet away from the alarm.
This alarm is equipped with a tamper-proof feature that will sound the siren if the device is being played with or remove from the pool.
Some current users found the product to be just the right amount of sensitive. Though it may still sound an alarm in the event of a severe weather event (i.e., wind), it is less likely to do so than some of the other options on our list.
9. Pool Patrol PA-30
Adjustable sensitivity level
Easy to set up
Alarm is loud enough
Easy to travel with if necessary
No sleep mode
If you have a larger pool (up to 20’x40’), the Pool Patrol PA-30 might be exactly what you’re looking for. This device made our list for a number of reasons but we really liked that the sensitivity level of the unit is adjustable – something not many other options on our list are able to offer.Read more
This device boasts a whopping 100 dB of sound. This is one of the loudest options on our list. In the event of a false alarm, there is no panicky fiddling with buttons and remotes to turn the siren off. This device will just need its base to be rotated to stop the alarm.
This is the second most expensive option in our buying guide. Though it does require a bit of an investment, we believe it to be more than worth it for the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that you’ll be alerted in the event of an emergency.
This alarm is a floating style. Size-wise, it is around the same size as a dinner plate. It comes with a receiver that you can place inside your home or around the front of your house if you’re working outdoors. As long as the receiver is within 200 feet of the alarm, you will hear the siren if something (or someone) were to fall into the pool.
We loved that the sensitivity of this product is easily adjustable. All users need to do is screw the black underside of the alarm either left or right to adjust how sensitive it is.
We found this device to be one of the most accurate options on our list. The alarm sounded during our test phase when we threw tennis balls into the water.
10. SmartPool PE23
Will help you to pass some state pool inspections
Has a swim mode feature
Annoying to have to unscrew it to change the batteries every time
Difficult to install
Taking up the last spot in our top ten list is this alarm system from SmartPool. It is made for use in either in or above ground pools.Read more
This is one loud alarm system. It puts out 85+ dB, though we had it rating for over 100 dB in our testing.
This product is the third most expensive option on our top ten list. We liked that one remote can be used for a number of different alarms.
This device is designed to be placed on the edge of your above or in ground pools.
The alarm comes with a receiver, just as with many other similar options on our list, however this receiver is only designed to work up to 100 feet away.
This device is a little less sensitive than some of the other options above. In our tests, the alarm did sound when someone got into the pool but when we threw something a little heavier in (water-logged sweater, for example), it didn’t go off. This may be of concern for families who have little ones who aren’t quite that heavy yet.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
You need to be able to hear it in the event of an emergency.
How the alarm alerts homeowners that something (or someone) has fallen into the pool was one of the first criteria we looked at when compiling our list. We wanted to know how loud the device was and how likely it would be that you would be able to hear it in the event of a submersion. Though we were unable to find exact decibel levels for some of the products on our list, we were able to determine what the alarm sounded like through testing and reading through current user reviews.
Some of the styles of alarm in our buying guide come with wireless receivers. You would install these receivers in your home and if someone were to ever fall into your pool, the siren would sound in your house as well as at the site of the pool.
There’s something here for every budget.
Though you can’t put a price on safety, we did consider the value of the products before including them on our list. In every case, the value that the alarm brings to the homeowner far outweighs the cost of the product. But there are some alarms on our list that are more affordably priced than others so we were sure to include options that will suit every budget.
Choose a style that works best for your particular needs.
One thing you may notice right out the gate when looking over our top ten list is just how many different styles of pool alarms there are. We were surprised, too. There were four main types that we kept seeing as we performed our research so we were sure to include at least one of each in our list.
These devices are designed to actually sit in your pool and float on top of the water. They will detect water movement and alert you if something has happened that has caused water to move in the pool.
These devices are meant to sit on the edge of your pool. A portion of the unit will be touching the water so it’s able to determine whether or not there has been a submersion.
The devices that fall under this style category aren’t meant for use In the pool but are instead designed to alert you if someone were to enter the area around your pool. They are installed on gates or doorways and will alert you if someone enters your pool deck without you knowing. While these might not be the ‘typical’ pool alarm style, we felt it was important to include them on our list. A bonus that these alarms have over the other styles is that they can be re-used after your child is old enough to know not to use the pool unsupervised. You can reinstall them on your front door to alert you to any incoming/outgoing guests.
Only one of the options in our buying guide falls under the ‘wearable’ category. This style requires you to put a watch-like device on your child if you know they are going to be around the pool area. It will alert you if the band gets even the smallest amount of water on it. Though style might not be as effective as the other options on our list (unless you plan on having your child wear the band every day without fail), it does serve a purpose and is really great for traveling.
What special features does the alarm have that sets it apart from other options?
Every alarm had its own unique set of features. Some of the door/gate alarm styles had adult bypass features that allowed the alarm to be turned off by an adult prior to tripping it. Some options had adjustable sensitivity levels that would allow users to adjust how much water movement would be required in order for the alarm to sound. A few of the options on our list were tamper-proof. This would come in handy in the event that your child tries to remove the alarm from the pool deck. Another great feature that a few options in our list had was low battery indicators. This is especially important because it would be a shame for an emergency to occur and not receive any warning due to dead batteries.
We believe it’s important to be sure you’re reading the product descriptions before choosing which alarm to buy. You may find that certain features work best for you and your needs.
A pool alarm is only good if it works.
We wanted only to include pool alarms in our buying guide that work. It would be silly, after all, to include products on our list of the ’10 Best’ that were of poor quality or ineffective. That said, however, some of the options above work far better than others. The sensitivity of the alarm was a big criterion we looked at when taking in the overall effectiveness of the devices. Some of the options were too sensitive. Consumers complained that the smallest thing would set the alarm off. Some options were easily set off by inclement weather. This may or may not be an area of concern for you since you are purchasing a pool alarm for safety reasons. If the worst thing you have to deal with when it comes to your pool is having to turn off a false alarm, we think you’re all set. We would rather have alarms on our list that were too sensitive than not sensitive enough, after all. If you’re worried about having to get up in the middle of the night to fiddle groggily with a blaring false alarm, there are options in our buying guide that provide a way to adjust the sensitivity of the alarm.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Purchasing an alarm is one step of many that you can take to prevent drownings in your pool. You should also install a fence around your pool that’s at least four feet high. They should latch on their own and the latch should be out of reach of any small children. A motorized safety cover that’s placed over the water can be installed and used when you’re not in the pool. If you have an above-ground pool, your ladder should be secured and removed when you’re not using it.
In 2011, the state of Tennessee made it illegal for residential swimming pools deeper than 36 inches to not have alarms installed. This law came into effect because, in 2009, a 17-month-old girl named Katie Beth Maynard drowned in an above-ground pool.
Other Factors to Consider
Unintentional drownings account for more than 700 children deaths in the United States alone each and every year. For every child who drowns, 5 more will require an emergency visit for non-fatal injuries related to their pool. What’s even more devastating about these deaths is that they are completely preventable by having safety measures in place to protect your children.
While a pool alarm is only one component of what should be a more comprehensive safety plan, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. Some states even require homeowners with backyard pools to have an alarm by law.
Though you may not initially consider weather resistance to be an area of concern when we’re talking about pool alarms, through your research (or reading of this buying guide), you may see how it plays an integral part. Some pool alarms are very sensitive. This is a good thing – most of the time. For some pool owners, especially those who live in areas that frequently get high winds and rainfall, you may want to look very closely at which pool alarms are less likely to go off in the event of inclement weather. You probably don’t want to have to go outside when it’s pouring rain or in a thunderstorm just to turn off your blaring pool alarm. Some of the options on our list are more likely than others to sound the siren if it gets too windy outside. If this is an area of concern for you, we would recommend the Pool Patrol PA-30 simply because this device has an adjustable sensitivity control that will allow you to decide how sensitive you want your alarm to be.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Who are pool alarms for?
These products are for people who own backyard pools and also have small children or pets running around. Most alarms will sound an alert if a child or pet who weighs a minimum amount falls into the pool. Many of the alarm systems on our list will sound alerts both near the pool as well as at a remote siren that most people choose to keep inside their homes.
These alarm systems are not designed to be used as the only method of pool safety. They’re meant to be used alongside other safety equipment like fencing and pool covers, not to mention constant supervision when small children and animals are outside in the vicinity of the pool.
q: Is my pool too big for just one alarm?
If your pool is larger than 800 square feet, we recommend purchasing two alarms in order to provide yourself with proper coverage.
q: Are there ever false alarms?
Sometimes. You may notice that certain types of cleaners you might use in your pool trigger false alarms. Suction and pressure cleaners don’t typically cause false alarms. But if you have purchased a robot-style cleaner, you may find that it sets off the alarm. This is likely due to the fact hat these cleaning systems can mimic sub-surface signals that an object (or child or pet) does when it falls into the pool. If you find that your cleaning system does tend to trigger a false alarm, we recommend turning the alarm into ‘swim’ mode prior to letting your robot do its job.
q: What happens if I have a pool with a waterfall or an infinity edge? Will alarms still work?
Yes, you should have no problem at all getting the alarm to work in an infinity pool. What sets the alarm off is the displacement of water when something falls into the pool. When it comes to waterfalls, however, you will want to make sure that your new alarm isn’t positioned too close to the waterfall. This is due to the fact that direct water pressure in one spot of your pool may cause a false alarm.
q: Is it illegal to not have a pool alarm?
This depends on where you live. There are a number of US states that require pool alarms be installed in all residential pools. In California and Connecticut, every pool needs to have a minimum of one drowning prevention safety precaution. In Tennessee, Katie Beth’s Law states that all pools have a pool alarm installed prior to becoming operational. We recommend checking with your state or province to see what the law dictates for your location.