The approach of a new year signifies new beginnings. Come January First, we resolve to eat better and exercise more and work toward improved relationships and work situations. This is also a good time to think about ways to improve how your home functions, inside and out. If you own a swimming pool, you probably aren’t thinking right now of going for a swim, but it’s never too early to be prepared. Taking a few precautions before spring can help you transition easily into pool enjoyment.

Before the last of the winter snow melts away, there are a number of steps you can take to be ready for late spring or earlier, depending on where you live. Preparing early for the pool is a great way to get the family excited about a spring and summer filled with enjoyment and togetherness, but you definitely want to make certain your environs are safe and clean. Here are some things you can do to be ready:

1) Check your current pool supplies. Everything has a shelf life, and you definitely do not want to have expired cleaners and other products in the garage. Go through everything you have and make sure they are still useful for the coming summer. If you are not sure anything has gone bad, check with a local pool supply expert.

2) Check automated cleaners, filters and vacuums. Do any repairs need to be made on your larger pool equipment? If you’ve had certain items around for a few years, a quick test will let you know if everything is in working order when you need them.

3) Check pool toys and safety equipment. Once summer is over all the flotation devices and toys probably wind up in the garage or an outdoor closet. If you have some free time, this presents a good opportunity to check that everything still looks useable and is free of punctures and cobwebs.

4) Take a refresher course on pool safety. Unless you feel totally comfortable with your safety and life-saving skills, you may want to look for a CPR class in your area. Accidents can happen any time, and it’s important to remain vigilant around the pool any time of year if you have children, and don’t have a pool cover.

Summertime will be here before you know it, so don’t be caught unprepared when the family is ready to go swimming.