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Hot Tub Safety

Prevent accidents by taking these precautions

The addition of a hot tub in your backyard is exciting — relaxing after a hard day, quality time with family and fun with friends are all appealing aspects of owning a hot tub. Don’t forget, however, that there are safety issues to consider when installing and using your spa.

Always install your spas with safety in mind. A level surface for installation such as a rock bed or concrete patio ensures the hot tub stays where it’s supposed to over time. If you choose to put a deck around your hot tub, make sure that the spa is installed flush with the decking, otherwise it’s easy for someone to trip and fall into the spa.

Check with your local council about requirements for proper barriers. Commonly accepted barriers include fencing, an automatic closing door or a gate with a high latch. Additionally, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires that all pools and spas have drain grates or covers that meet safety standards to avoid entrapment incidents. Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can even trap an adult.

Another important safety precaution is a locking cover to keep children and pets from falling into the hot tub. Of course, the No. 1 way to prevent children from slipping and falling into a spa is constant supervision. When children and spas mix, vigilance on the part of their guardians is of the utmost importance.

Additionally, lights should not be considered a luxury item; they are safety essentials, especially if you plan to use the spa after dark.

Hot tubs are designed for short-term water relaxation. They achieve a maximum temperature of 104º F, a temperature that should relax most any adult in about 15 minutes. Heat from the water causes an increase in body temperature similar to that of a fever, so if you have a medical condition where this elevated body temperature could have a negative effect, be sure to consult your doctor before using your spa.

Hot tubs provide soothing relief for many ailments, relaxation in a stressful world and social bonding unlike any other method of relaxation. Improved manufacturing techniques, modern materials and aggressive competition among manufacturers make spas affordable and solid investments. These same manufacturers also understand safety needs with hot tub use and have designed models and hot tub accessories accordingly, providing you with all that you would need to make your backyard both safe and relaxing.

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