Safety Law Requirements for Swimming Pools & SPAs in California


California has upgraded their safety requirements regarding swimming pools in order to improve their laws to reduce the cases of child drowning. Hence all swimming pools and spas have been authorized by the government to initiate remodeling and have a second safety feature for protecting their children from drowning.

The new safety law is applicable from 1st January 2018 and it will aim to increase safety measures by introducing cover, fence or an alarm. The introduction of this new law will update twenty years old pool safety requirements and will also be applied to the older facilities which will bring them in line with the new code.

According to the public health statistics it has been found that drowning is found to be the leading cause of death for California children aged one to four. It is found that more than 160 children have drowned in California between 2010 and 2014. It is also found that more than 740 children aged between one to four years of age have been hospitalized after being saved from drowning in the year 2010 and 2015. Hence after the enactment of this law, it will increase the safety and will eventually make it more difficult for the child to access a pool or spa.

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According to this legislation, the child will have to cross a number of barriers before he or she reaches the pool and it is advocated that improved pool safety laws will prevent future tragedies.

According to Jennifer Rubin who is working with Safe Kids Greater Sacramento Coalition announced that safety measures are not enough at the moment and they find out easy ways by passing through open gates, alarms which are disabled while some can even open the pool covers. Hence the introduction of this second layer of security will give us more time to reach the place and save a kid from drowning.

Following are newly approved safety features which have been complied with the new law and have been outlined in Senate Bill 442:

1.An approved safety pool cover certified to the ASTM Standard F2208.

2.An enclosure that isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.

3.Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”

4.Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.

5.An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.

6.A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.

7.Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

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About Bob Senel

Consultant and trainer, retired general contractor from 1983 to 2012, founder of multiple inspection companies; residential, commercial and industrial inspector from 1978 to the present, California representative for IESO (Indoor Environmental Standards Association), founder of Mold in California and GAPIC (Global Association of Professional Inspectors and Contractors). Affiliations: CCC, CCI, CCPM, ICBO, IESO, CRMI, RMP, GAPIC.

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