8 pool safety tips for your family home

Having a swimming pool at home is a wonderful facility for the whole family. Whether you’re enjoying water play with the kids, are teaching them to swim or indulge in your love of swimming, pool time is an easy and fun way for the family to spend quality time together. It’s also a fantastic way to encourage the youngsters to enjoy being physically active from a young age.

That said, we all know that water can be dangerous. Did you know that it is possible for a child to drown in as little as 2 inches of water? A recent survey by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) found that 60 children accidentally drown in the UK every summer. Sadly, most of these deaths could have been prevented by adhering to some basic water safety precautions as well as more education and knowledge of what to do in an emergency.

Clearly, in order to get the most enjoyment out of your pool, it’s important to make water safety top priority. We’ve taken advice from both the RLSS and SPATA (The Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association) and put together 8 top pool safety tips to keep your family safe from the dangers of water.

1 – Boundaries and fencing

When you install a residential swimming pool in your garden, make safety a priority. The pool should be protected by a fence or boundary that is at least 1.2 metres high and not accessible to unaccompanied children. Ideally, the pool area should remain locked until it is safe to use. Installing a pool or gate alarm to monitor access is also an excellent idea. If fencing off is not practical, you can place a secure cover on your pool (and also your hot tub and garden pond) instead.

2 – Proper pool maintenance

For a new swimming pool installation, make sure that your pool is safe to use before you and the kids get in. Once your installation is complete, it’s important to follow your supplier’s advice to maintain and service your pool properly and have all safety checks completed, so as not to invalidate the warranty. At Compass Pools, we offer a 20-year guarantee on the impermeability of your pool and against osmosis, while Silverline pools come with a 10-year guarantee.

3 – Practise constant vigilance

Accidents have a habit of happening when you least expect them and they can be horribly quick and silent – don’t let that happen. As a parent, you will already be used to keeping a close eye on your children at all times, and this is even more important in a poolside environment. It goes without saying that children and weak swimmers should always be closely supervised by an adult while they’re in the water or its vicinity. Give them your full attention, and don’t try to multitask.

Mother Having Fun in Pool with Children

4 – Enforce poolside safety

Keep the swimming pool area free from trip hazards – tidy away any toys, garden hoses, pool equipment etc. However excited the kids are about water play and swimming, and regardless of whether they’re toddlers or teenagers (or indeed adults!), make it a Number One Rule to WALK NEVER RUN around the pool, since slipping on wet surfaces by the pool can be just as dangerous as the water itself. If you have guests, make sure they are aware of your poolside safety rules too.

5 – Employ water safety items as necessary

For babies, toddlers and children who cannot swim, use buoyancy aids that give a degree of independence, such as baby swim seats, arm bands, swim vests, float boards etc., but only use them under strict adult supervision. You can also get swimming costumes with pockets containing removable floats, water suits made from UV protective fabric as well as anti-slip swim shoes. It all helps to keep the juniors safe in and around the water.

Kids Jumping Into Pool

6 – Learn to swim

For parents, real peace of mind comes from the fact that your child can swim. It’s never too early or too late to learn to swim, and even getting babies and toddlers used to being in the water is a great start. Find out about swimming lessons in your local area or engage a private swimming teacher who will come to your home. Swimming is such a valuable life skill – for children and adults alike – that you really cannot afford to miss out.

7 – Swimming no-no’s

Knowing that those who use the pool in your home can swim can be a huge burden off your shoulders – but that doesn’t mean you can ever relax completely around water. Weak swimmers must make sure they stay within a safe depth – they should be able to touch the bottom with their feet – and ideally should be supervised in the water. Experienced swimmers should never dive into water that is less than 1.5 metres deep, and be careful not to enter the pool after drinking alcohol.

Young couple in a swimming pool with a beach ball

8 – What to do in an emergency

Finally, if something does go wrong in the pool, would you know what to do in an emergency situation? As a first response, make sure you always have easy access to rescue aids such as a lifebuoy ring, float board, safety torpedo, rope or reach pole. Learning First Aid and CPR is highly recommended – it’s a skill that ideally everyone in the family should have. St John’s Ambulance have a range of First Aid courses for the general public that are worth checking out.

When is a bespoke pool not bespoke?

Bespoke is a term that gets banded about a lot in the swimming pool industry luring potential buyers into thinking that it’s in some way better. We explore the pros and cons of a bespoke pool. 

First of let’s explore what a bespoke swimming pool is. It’s normally a design of pool specially designed to the user’s requirements. Sounds perfect doesn’t it. Ask yourself this, why can’t you buy a bespoke car or yacht, not options but size.  Specify you want it 2.1m wide by 4.7m long with 12 seats. 
Essentially because all new cars have millions spent in research and development of the chassis or hull in the case of a boat and most importantly rigorous testing.  Sure you can change the colour, the wheels. The interior and options. But you can’t change the core engineering for good reason. You don’t want to be a guinea.
Let’s compare this to the bespoke swimming pool. Who has done the testing on this, your very expensive, shinny new pool? Well no one. You will be testing it when it’s built. You specified some beautiful new tile type not yet installed by the pool installer. How do they know it’s compatible with pool water. How do they know the circulation system is going to work effectively in your guitar shaped pool? They don’t but you will find out once it’s built! We oversimplify this statement as there are literally thousands of variables. 
Aston MartinAs the largest installer of pools in the UK we know not to test products on our customers first. Are our pools bespoke? Well no more or less than a bespoke Bentley or custom Aston Martin in fact there are over 32000 colour, size, option and finish variations. We have never built 2 pools the same but we have built swimming pools with every single option fitted and rum them through testing.
So while you cant have a guitar shipped pool, you can certainly have one that is going to be reliable and stand the test of time backed by our industry leading warranty that is backed by our global parent company.
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The Best Pools for a Small Home

It was once the case that if you owned a small property, having a swimming pool constructed was simply impractical, if not impossible. Aside from the expense of having a pool built at your home, the limiting nature of construction techniques meant that it simply wasn’t possible to get a swimming pool in a smaller property. But as technology has advanced and swimming pool solutions have improved, it has become both possible and easy to have a pool constructed for properties of almost any size. So even if you are limited on space, you can still have the pool of your dreams.

If you are looking into having a pool built in a smaller home, it’s a great idea to do your research into different design ideas. Undoubtedly, the best pool for a small home is the pool that is most suited to the needs and requirements of its owner. There is such a broad variety of options available from stunning infinity pools to chlorine-free natural pools, you can opt for the pool that best fits your lifestyle and what you are looking to get from it. Here are some top tips for choosing a fantastic pool to suit a smaller home.

A pool in keeping with your home

Some homeowners mistakenly believe that when it comes to swimming pools, bigger means better. But when it comes to a feature as expensive and important as a swimming pool, the truth is that size is not necessarily an important factor. It is worth pointing out that if you have a small home, it makes sense that you would have smaller swimming pool. While a swimming pool is a fantastic feature piece for your property, a huge swimming pool in a small house can completely overwhelm the space and feel out of place.

A smaller pool that is in-keeping with the aesthetic and size of your home is a much better idea – a small, well-designed pool will add more value to your property than one that dominates the exterior space. This is especially true if your pool will actually take over much of the garden space; some buyers will much prefer a decent garden as well as pool over a disproportionately sized pool.

So when you come to look at the different pool options available, don’t assume that the best thing to do is to use up as much space as possible. There are actually much smarter ways for you to utilise your space.

Use your space effectively

If you have a smaller space to work with, you might need to get creative with the room that is available. Some people have misconceptions about what a pool has to be, which can make them believe that a pool wouldn’t suit their property. In reality, your pool can be whatever you need it to be in order for you to get as much out of it as possible.

There is no rule, for instance, to say that a pool needs to be rectangular. Nor one that requires it to be symmetrical. If you have got an awkward garden space, a pool can be created to fit within it. If you garden is long but not especially wide, it is possible to have a pool designed that effectively acts as a swimming lane. A lap pool can fit into surprisingly tight spaces while still being a lovely addition to your home.

You might be interested in a classic pool shape such as a Roman pool or a kidney-shaped design, but if you are working within a limited space it can make more sense to opt for a free-form pool instead. This can allow you to enjoy both a larger pool in a small space, and retain a good look for your property.

What is your pool for?

Remember that there are many different types of pools that you can have constructed at your home from exercise pools to natural pools, which don’t use chlorine. While a large pool can have multiple functions and uses, a small pool typically needs to be specialised.

So to make the right decision on a swimming pool for a small home it is necessary to establish exactly what you are going to use your pool for. There are a number of different reasons that you might want to have a pool on your property. Let’s take a look at why you are interested in having a pool, to help you decide which option is best for you.

A place for a dip

It might be the case that you are just interested in somewhere to take a dip after a long hot summer day. In this case it could be that you simply need a plunge pool to get what you’re looking for.


For many homeowners, it is the joy of swimming that convinces them to invest in a pool. If this is important for you it is best to opt for a lap pool. But what if you don’t quite have the space for a swimming lane? It is still possible! Check below for details on swimming in a small pool.

Entertaining and relaxation

You may want a pool as a feature piece for your property so you can entertain guests or relax in the evening. It could be the case that you will find you don’t actually need a full size pool at all – would a hot tub be a better option?

Add value to your home

A high quality pool can add significant value to your property. If you have got one eye on the property market when it comes to buying your pool, the most important thing is to choose a pool that fits with the aesthetic and style of your home.

Plunge pool

Plunge Pool Banner Image

When you think of compact swimming pools for smaller spaces, the idea of a plunge pool comes instantly to mind. Plunge pools are larger than a spa or Jacuzzi, but not as large as a fully-fledged swimming pool. If you are only planning to use your pool as a place to go for a quick swim after work, this is a perfect option.

Plunge pools can be loaded up with features to ensure a great swimming experience, and this can be customised entirely to your taste. From water features and waterfalls to massage jets, plunge pools can have all the functionality of a normal swimming pool, with the added advantage that they fit in a much smaller space.

Lane swimming in a small pool

One thing that can put homeowners off the idea of buying a smaller pool is that they want to be able to actually swim in their swimming pool. Obviously a smaller space can make it difficult to enjoy a swimming in the same way as a full-size pool. But that doesn’t mean you need to abandon the idea of getting a pool altogether – innovative technology offers a solution that allows you to do as much swimming as you like in the smallest of pools.

Fastlane by Endless Pools pumps a steady flow of water at you. As you swim against the current, the jet will keep you in the same place. It provides the feeling of natural swimming but you aren’t actually moving. With 52 different speed settings, the flow can be made stronger or weaker to suit your swimming pace, allowing you to effectively have lane swimming in a small pool.

The hot tub option

It might be the case that for your needs, you don’t actually need a full size swimming pool at all, and a hot tub would be just as good. A hot tub can be a great option if you have always wanted a pool but lack the space. Far more space efficient than a pool, and requiring a far less arduous building process, a hot tub is ideal for relaxing or even entertaining guests.

Naturally, it is not quite the same as having a pool, but this can be a suitable replacement for those properties that really don’t have the available space for a swimming pool.

Inside or outside?

Two Garden Chairs Overlooking Pool

This leads on to another decision that you will need to make about your pool – will it be indoors or outdoors? The vast majority of home pools are installed outdoors due to factors like cost and complexity. And this is certainly the case when it comes to smaller properties too (unless you have a large supply of interior space and relatively little outdoors).

If you are going to opt for an outdoor pool it could also be worth looking into a covering to make it possible to use the pool in any weather. This will certainly add to the cost of the overall project, but it can provide the pool with more usability.

In ground or above ground?

Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that if space is a factor in your decision, you could look into both in-ground and above ground options. It may be the case that an above ground pool can be constructed in way that makes a better and more creative use of space within your garden. Yes, this can typically be a more expensive option than simply having the pool built in an excavated hole in the ground, but it can make it possible to have a pool that is closer to what you are looking for.

Three key benefits for a smaller pool

Many homeowners looking into getting a swimming pool constructed will be limited by the physical space available to them. Still, you might be tempted to opt for a larger pool over a smaller design when it comes to the actual construction process. But it is vital here to remember that just because it is bigger, it doesn’t make it any better. In fact, many homeowners are finding that there are benefits in choosing a smaller option. Three important benefits of a smaller pool are:

1 – It’s cheaper to build

There’s no doubt that one of the major benefits of smaller pool is that it is much cheaper to build. And it’s not just the cost that you need to think about – there will be a shorter construction time, meaning less disruption to your property over the course of the build.

2 – It’s more environmentally friendly

If you are interested in remaining as ‘green’ as possible and reducing your carbon footprint, there’s no denying that a smaller pool is the better option. Small pools use less water and fewer chemicals than their larger counterparts. This makes it an obvious choice if you are interested in protecting the environment.

3 – It’s easier to maintain

One of the real challenges of owning a pool is the level of maintenance that is required. If you are interested in a pool that is easier to drain, faster to clean and uses fewer expensive chemicals, then it will definitely make sense for you to choose a small pool.

If you would like to learn more about pools for small homes, the team of expert pool builders at Compass Pools would be happy to provide you with details. With our years of expertise, we have worked on pools both big and small for properties of all sizes, and we would be happy to pass on our knowledge to you. Get in contact with us today.

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Compass pools cleans up at the 2017 Pool Awards.

Pool and Spa Awards 2017

Compass pools the UK’s largest one piece pool installer has pipped the competition to the post with two key prestigious awards. 

Compass has received an award in the two most important categories “residential indoor pool of the year” along with “residential outdoor pool of the year”

The two projects highlight Compasses leading technical and design prowess in the UK market. 

The judging was put through 3 stages with Compass shining through against the stiff competition of over 200 entries. 

Receiving the awards at the glittering ceremony from Michelle Dewbury the enigmatic winner of the hit business TV show The Apprentice.  

Alex Kemsley Technical director at Compass comments. “These two awards only firms our abilities in the UK pool market as we strive to deliver the best to our customers”

Look out for our deep dive into these project case studies in the coming weeks. 

If you would like a quote on your new compass pool give us a call on 01444 400621

Pool and Spa Awards 2017?

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The 11 most common architect errors in indoor pool design

We get handed plans every day of the week of indoor swimming pools designed by architects with some minor and some major omissions and errors. So we have put together a list of the most common ones.  
  1. Is the plant room adjacent to the pool room for air extraction? 
  2. Is the plant room on an external wall for intake and exhaust ventilation, if not is there a route for at least 200mm ducting? 
  3. Is the plant room dimensions at least 15% of the pool water area (domestic pool) or 25% for commercial for the filtration and air handling equipment, with a minimum size of 2.5 x 2.5m ?
  4. Has routes for ducting been considered back to the plant room for air handing,  a cross section area of at least 0.13m2 for domestic will be required for ducts to every piece of glass. 
  5. Has floor coverings, drainage and falls been considered along with drains to waste for the pool room splash out? 
  6. Has a drain to waste been considered for the plant room for filter cleaning? 
  7. Has a suitable LPHW source been considered with sufficient flow and return temperatures for heating of the air and water?
  8. Has cold bridging been eliminated to stop condensation damage?
  9. Has suitable waterproof wall and ceiling covering been considered for example a stretch ceiling and aquaboard. 
  10. Has gyms and entertainment areas been designed out side of the pool area. This area is going to be 30 degrees and humid!
  11. Are there two door separating the pool area and living spaces. You dont want those pool smells getting into the living space! 
For more information on designing and indoor pool please download our architects and builders guide to indoor pools. 
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2016 Swimming Pool Design and Technology Trends

At Compass Pools we had a record breaking year and introduced several new products that you will see featured in pool design trends of 2016. We picked up a raft of awards at the Uk Pool and Spa Awards with many of the hottest new trends featured in the award winners.

With a full year ahead of us, and the depths of winter hopefully behind us, we look towards the summer and what the top trends and prediction in pool design and technology in 2016 and what you could install on your new pool project. 

Heat Pump Illustration

1 – Everything Eco.

With the cost of energy constantly fluctuating consumers and choosing to invest their capital in energy saving products. The two main ones being Eco pumps that alter their speed and thus energy consumption depending on their time of day and pools required energy. The second being variable speed heat pumps or inverter heat pumps as they are sometimes called. Heat pumps have gained a lot of traction in 2015 as the prefered method of heating a pool with 96% of consumers choosing to heat their pool this way as they extract free energy from the ambient air, giving up to 5:1 return on your energy costs. Inverter heat pumps work on the same principle as the variable speed pump but control the heating of your pool instead. They can save up to 30% of the cost of running a pool. Check out our award winning Eco pool from the Pool and Spa Awards.
Pool Automation Diagram

2 – Hands off Automation.

With pool owners being more “time poor” most people want to be swimming in their pool and not cleaning it. Several options exist to cut this down to a minimum. These include, auto dosing which automates the water chemistry in your pool. IQ to allow your pool to be controlled from an iPad and full remote controls to control you pool cover as well as the lights and water features remotely.
Pool controlled from iPad

3 – Pool Beach.

Most first time pool buyers have young children. The BeachLine from Compass was introduced to give both children and adults a shallow area to play, sunbathe or just have a glass of wine on. A natural stone shelf submerged under just 10 cm of water makes it the ideal area for fun and relaxation.
High End One Piece Pool

4 – The Highend One Piece Pool.

One piece pools or more specifically fibreglass pools have historically been seen as a cheaper option, that can be plagued with problems like osmosis and fading. But with the latest in high tech composites, like carbon ceramic, used in the space program being introduced, these pools have evolved. They offer beautiful bi luminite finishes, and gives a quick clean installation because everything is made in a factory. Not a muddy building site leaving less room for quality issues and industry leading warranties that will put any liner or concrete pool to shame.
One Piece Plant Room

5 – The One Piece Plant Room.

Plant rooms are inherently complicated pieces of kit and are essential the engine room of the pool. They are dependant on so many factors to be perfect so it seems almost crazy to try and assemble them in a shed or garage. With water and electrics combined there is no room for error and do you really want the first time you test it to be on your new pool? After all,  You wouldn’t try and build your new car engine in a £500 garden shed would you!
With this in mind Compass have introduced the one piece plant room. A composite cabinet that is assembled on our own production line and even tested as if it was connected to your pool.
Microscopic Chlorine

6 – FreshWater™ Pools.

With many parents concerned about the use of chlorine in pools, from stinging eyes, horrible smells and health concerns. The FreshWater™pool has made some real traction in 2015. This system uses Philips ultraviolet technology, combined with pearl filtration and antibacterial one piece pool shells to give water as clean as tap water. We predict that 2016 will see the majority of installs having this feature.
Three Children Smiling on Lilo

7 – Safety, Safety, Safety.

This should be at the top of your list, with safety around the pool our main concern too. We predict several new innovations will play a key part in the decision making of every prospective pool buyer, especially those who are parents. For this reason every Compass Pool has safety designed right into the shell. Automatic covers have ledges built in that will support the weight of an adult. All critical surfaces have anti-slip textures, Pools with a deep-end have under water ledges allowing children and adults to stand. Filtration systems have entrapment prevention devices for your peace of mind.

Everything is considered when you choose a Compass Pool.

Empty Pool Lowered into Ground
Summer 2016 and beyond.

If 2016 is the year that you are going to dip your toe in the water with your new pool project please get in contact early on. We have a 3-6 month lead time from point of order to ready to swim. So to ensure you get a full seasons use out of your pool you will need to be placing an order before the end of February.
Why not drop us an email back and have a full quote drawn up. Just hit the reply button now.
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Compass Pool Awards

UK Pool & Spa Awards ImageWaterstream, Compass Distributor makes a dent at the UK Pool & Spa Awards

Waterstream Makes a dent at the 2015 UK Pool and Spa Awards held at the NEC in Birmingham winning a Collection of awards.  If you would like any further information or a quote on a Pool or Hot Tub please don’t hesitate to drop us an email.

Hot Tub Project of the Year

This Stunning hot tub is situated on Whitehall in a £50 Million Apartment. It has views of The London Eye, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Nelsons Column Right from the Hot Tub. The hot tub installed was a Villeroy & Boch Spa with a Custom Cabinet.

Outstanding Pool Design

The Yacht Pool by Compass is undeniably unique. Designed around the Bow of a Yacht with Integrated Hot Tub and Teak Deck.

Energy Efficiency Project of the Year

An outdoor pool engineered for peak efficiency incorporates a host of energy saving devices including: Solar Thermal Cover, Variable Speed Pumps, Insulated Shell, Led Lights, Heat Pump. For super low running costs year round.

Pool & Spa Showroom of the Year

As one of only a Handful of Swimming Pool companies to have invested over £500K in a dedicated showroom for our dealers and installers to use for clients. With full size heated swimming pool available to try all year round.

Residential Pool of the Year

For this stunning project we worked with a top london Designer to Achieve what is arguably a simple yet effective design, Utilising the Highest Quality Materials and Plants. Pool is an XL Trainer 11m in Smokey Quartz with Beachline.

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Swimming Pool Refurbishment & Renovation Vs Re Build

At Compass Pools we get hundreds of calls a year with new homeowners who have moved into a house with an old pool. In this article we will explore the options of renovate vs re build and the pros and cons of both.


We liken the refurbishment of a pool to the renovation of an old car. But one that you can’t access the underside of the car. You can re do the paint, you can fix up the seats, you might even be able to put a few extra options on. But you can’t see the structure (chassis) and the pipework (running gear) as in a pools case this is underground.


Many pool companies will guarantee their work, but what use is a new paint job if the bodywork is rusted out or likely to deteriorate. The most important points on pool are the shell itself. Is it structurally sound and was it installed to a good standard. Not something that can be easily ascertained from the outside. Infact most pool renovation contract will exclude any unknowns such as the shell itself and given that this is the most important part of any pools seams crazy.


While it is true that a rubber or pvc liner can be put into a pool to hold water its not so pretty if a huge crack is showing through from underneath.  


During a pool renovation job many unexpected things can crop up and whilst the estimate you were provided includes a certain amount of work, the price can quickly increase to above that of knocking the whole thing in and starting again.


At compass we do not do renovations, and whilst our view is biased in this respect, I hope we have explained some of the pitfalls of renovating a pool. If you would like us to put a brand new pool in, (We can even knock the old one down and put a brand new on in its place) we would love to speak to you.  

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Free Pool Owners eBook by SPATA

Understand what's involved in pool ownership with this free guide by SPATA (Swimming Pool & Allied Trade Association).

SPATA provides standards on swimming pool construction, which all Compass pools meet.

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