Pools can be fun for a family or the entire community. However, whether you own a private or public pool, there are numerous regulations with which you must comply. Pool safety regulations are enacted and enforced by both federal government agencies and the state of Georgia. Though compliance with all applicable regulations may seem daunting, failing to comply puts other at risk of serious injury and drowning accidents.
Drowning Deaths May Occur Due to Lack of Compliance with Regulations
Deaths from drowning accidents in pools happen more frequently than you may think. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safety division reports that 174 children in the United States died in swimming pools or spas in the summer of 2014 alone. Additionally, the state of Georgia had the third highest number of child pool drowning deaths of the 50 states, with 13 deaths in Georgia alone.
Because of the high risk of drowning accidents in pools, all pool owners should be familiar with safety regulations. The following are five of the regulations of which every pool owner should be aware to keep others safe.
- All outdoor pools and hot tubs must be surrounded by a barrier. This barrier must be at least four feet high and must not have any gaps through which a small child may fit. The entry through the barrier allowing access to the pool or spa must also have a gate that self-closes with a locking mechanism that self-latches, and the lock or latch must be a certain height from the ground. The requirement of such a barrier and locked gate is intended to keep unsupervised children from accidentally wandering into the pool area and falling in to the water.
- The surfaces in the pool must be smooth so as to not cut, puncture, pinch, or otherwise hurt a user. Rough surfaces may cause a user to lose footing or be hesitant to put their feet down. The surfaces around the pool must be slip-resistant and must be easy to clean, which works to avoid slip and falls into the pool.
- The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act requires that every pool owner comply with specific drain and drain cover standards in order to avoid the entrapment of a swimmer under the water due to dangerous suction from a drain.
- Pool owners must post highly visible safety and warning signs, including depth markers and, if applicable, “No Diving” or “No Lifeguard on Duty” signs. If there is no lifeguard on duty, a sign must clearly set out specific rules for swimmers to follow to avoid injury.
- For public pool owners, Georgia regulations set out requirements for access to dressing facilities, lavatories, showers, and more.