Hot Tubs & Spas: 3 Ways a Spa is Different From a Pool, From a Safety Perspective


A group of friends sitting together in a hot tub

Whether you have a hot tub attached to your pool or you’re the proud owner of a standalone spa, safety needs to be a primary consideration in how you manage and maintain your water amenity. While these tubs can be an oasis of relaxation in your backyard or a fun way to entertain guests in a laid-back atmosphere, Jacuzzi safety helps keep your leisure time free of emergencies. By following some simple, common-sense water safety tips, just like you would with a pool, you’re halfway there. But a spa adds a few other considerations that you need to be aware of as a responsible spa owner.

General Water Safety Guidelines

While there are key differences, here are some great safety tips pool owners will already be familiar with.

  • Keep Your Pool Or Spa Area Secure – In many places, this is more than a good idea, it’s required by your building code, insurance carrier, or HOA. Keeping your water retreat protected from access by children is a smart idea for spa safety. Larger, in-ground spas can benefit from a safety cover that keeps out debris and people by providing an anchored cover that can support the weight of someone who inadvertently would otherwise enter the water. They can then be helped to the edge and safety.
    A pool safety fence, meanwhile, is a great option for any water amenity, in-ground or above ground. Our fences give you a physical barrier that is meant to resist climbing, not allow a gap a child could squeeze through, and uses self-closing and self-latching gates. A properly secured fence surrounding your spa is a safety feature that helps you create a safer pool environment, even if a child gets away from their supervising adult.
  • CPR And First Aid Training And Supplies – If you want to improve the safety of a Jacuzzi hot tub, you need to be certified in CPR and first aid. These valuable life-saving skills help you know what to do when an emergency happens and prepare you to take charge and save lives. In addition, every backyard water attraction should have a well-stocked first aid kit handy so you can make the most of your certified skills.
  • Create A Hazard Free Area – Make sure you keep your spa clear of common hazards. This includes glass containers, electrical appliances or cords not specifically designed for use in the water, and any tripping or entanglement hazards. This fundamental of spa safety helps limit electrocution danger, broken glass that can appear invisible underwater, and loose towels or objects that could contribute to a slip or fall.
A non-traditional spa in a larger pool area

Special Considerations For Spas

While many of the general pool safety rules apply to spas too, there are special considerations brought about due to the differences spas have from other backyard water amenities. Recognizing these differences and the challenges they create should play an important role in your plan for spa safety.

  • High Temperature Adds Special Considerations – Spas are also commonly referred to as hot tubs for a reason. While some pools are heated, they rarely get anywhere near as warm as a spa, because no one would want to see that energy bill. While a spa should never have it’s temperature set above 104 °F, thermostats can get stuck, so make sure you have a clearly visible thermometer to warn you before you enter scalding hot water.

    Aside from direct temperature damage, some medications can be affected by immersion in warmer temperatures. Medications that affect circulation, such as blood pressure medication and blood thinners, can cause their users to be more susceptible to heat-related effects. While an invasive interview about medical history shouldn’t be necessary for spa safety, if you know or suspect a guest may be on medications, warning them is a great idea.

    In addition to some prescription medications, high temperature and alcohol don’t mix. Alcohol can make you far more prone to temperature related ailments. High temperatures, meanwhile, can increase your feelings of intoxication, getting you drunker, faster. This can compromise judgment and even lead to unconsciousness, which poses a drowning hazard while in a spa. For spa safety, avoid alcohol consumption before or during your spa session.

  • Agitation And Suction Can Feel Stronger – Compared to the pumps that are responsible for circulating water through your pool, a spa pump is relatively small. All that power, however, is directed at a much smaller volume and you and your guests are sitting much closer to intakes and jets. That means they still represent a hazard you should be aware of.

    Loose swimsuits, hair, and jewelry can easily be sucked in and become caught, potentially trapping someone at or near the water’s edge. If they become tired, unable to free themselves, and slip under the water, the result can be just as tragic as drowning in the pool. For spa safety, make sure you and your guests are wearing tight-fitting clothes without loose pieces and that long hair is confined. Watch carefully for anyone showing signs of distress, as they may need assistance.

  • As Smaller Water Features, They Are Often Dismissed – One of the biggest threats to Jacuzzi safety is the lax attitude people take toward their hot tub. Because it is a smaller water feature that is viewed as for relaxing or entertaining, many people just don’t respect the danger of hazards in and around it. Spa safety helps keep you and your guests healthy and uninjured.

Protecting Your Spa

Your spa is an important investment in your property, and your relaxing retreat from the world. Contact our specialists for a free quote on the safety pool covers or safety fencing that helps make sure children and unauthorized adults do not have access unsupervised. Let Aqua-Safe Unlimited help improve your spa safety today.