Your Home
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Tips & info on maintaining and enjoying your Connecticut home
 
July 2009
 
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Ask the Expert
Pool Safety Tips

Keep kids safe. Install anti-entrapment covers on all pool inlets.

Question:
I’ve never had a pool but recently have been looking at homes for sale with pools. We have three children ranging in age from 6 to 15. What safety features should I look for?

Answer:
Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages 0-14 in the U.S. and home pool accidents account for approximately 80% of those deaths. Additionally, the Consumer Product Safety Commission named Pools and Spas among the top five “hidden home hazards” in the U.S. because of the high incident rate of entrapment by both adults and children in inlets.

Many private home pools in Connecticut do not meet mandatory state regulations and many older pools are not required to meet the new regulations at all. One of the most deadly issues with pools are the lack of the proper inlet covers.

A pool’s filtration system is strong enough to suction a grown man to the bottom of a pool floor causing his death. In many documented cases — the most well-known of which involved a six year old boy from Greenwich CT —  people have died because of a faulty installation or even the town’s certified approval of pools which did not meet  state and local standards. All home buyers and owners should check the following:

For pools with 24 inches or more of water:

  • The pool must be fully surrounded by a minimum four foot enclosure
  • If there is access directly to the pool from the house, doors must have locks that are over four feet from the ground. We recommend installing locks at the tops of doors and installing alarms on your doors to alert you when the door to the pool is opened
  • Gates into pool area must be self-closing AND self-latching
  • A pool alarm is required by CT statute; The pool alarm is automatically activated by any object 15 pounds or more that enters the water; The alarm must emit a sound of at least 50 decibels
  • Insure all pool inlets have anti-entrapment covers
    • All pools in CT built since 2004 are required to have anti-entrapment inlet covers to avoid the accidental suctioning of people to the bottom or sides of the pool
    • We recommend ALL pools have anti-entrapment covers
    • You can tell if the pool has anti-entrapment covers because they are domed, NOT flat
    • You may notice old pools just have a big grate over the cover – this is extremely dangerous
  • If the pool has a diving board, the pool must be a minimum of 7 1/2 feet deep and 28 feet long
  • Pool Water Maintenance – For the health of your family, make sure you test your pool’s Ph level on a weekly basis and treat the water accordingly

Additional Resources:


National Swimming Pool Foundation - Prevention Advisor Newsletter Sign-up


PoolSafety.gov - Certified Anti-entrapment Inlet Covers

Related Articles and Video:


7/9/09 - Video - Deadly Drains in Public Pools


4/20/08 - Article - After Boy's Death, Pool Safety Gains Urgency

 

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Some nice green grass

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