Pool Safety – It’s a Law
Residential swimming pools are fairly common in South Florida. In fact, many homeowners in Florida now view this amenity to be a requirement. Swimming pools can be full of fun and pool parties offer one of the best ways to socialize with your friends in the summer heat. However, pool ownership also demands constant maintenance and certain responsibility to install some type of pool safety barrier.
Chapter 0515.27, 2011 Florida Statue, the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires pool barriers and covers be used on in-ground and above-ground swimming pools as well as hot tubs and non-portable spas. This Pool Safety Act was enacted due to large number of fatal and near fatal accidents that occur when there are lapses in supervision of children and/or medically frail elderly persons. This legislation requires that all new pools built have at least one safety feature as listed below. The safety features will help the pool owner avoid potential domestic accidents that can take place when children, pets, medically frail and elderly adults are near the pool. Here are some pool safety barriers that can help keep your family and guests safe:
POOL SAFETY BARRIERS & ALARMS
- Pool barriers such as pool enclosures must be isolated from access to the home to meet state requirements. Windows and doors that provide access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an alarm that has sound pressure rating requirements.
- Pool fencing must be at least 4 feet high on the outside and can have no gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions or any other structural components to allow a child to crawl under, climb over or squeeze through the barrier. These barriers are the safest options available. They are a must if you have children or pets.
POOL SAFETY BARRIER DOORS & GATES
- Pool barrier doors and windows as well as pool gate doors that open outward, away from the pool. Pool access doors and gates must be equipped with a self-closing and self-latching device. This device must have a release mechanism that is no lower than 54 inches from floor or ground level.
POOL SAFETY COVERS
The Florida Statue allows an approved pool safety cover to qualify for one of the requirements. However mesh nettings and plastic tarps will not qualify for this requirement. Pool safety covers are intended to keep people from drowning. These covers are not the ones used to keep foreign objects such as dirt, debris and leaves from the pool.