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Pool Safety Signs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are there any federal swimming pool safety laws?

A.

While swimming pool safety is usually promoted and regulated by states and local governments, there are federal acts designed to ensure that public-use swimming pools are both safe and accessible for all potential swimmers. The most prominent one is the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), signed into law by President Bush in 2007. The Act aims at preventing drain entrapment and child drowning in pools and spas, and it prescribes the drain cover compliance requirements and safety backup options. According to the Act, pool ??drain covers must comply with the entrapment protection requirements specified by the joint ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard or any successor standard.

Q. I want to set up a pool in my backyard. Are there any safety tips I can use?

A.

When planning your pool, bear the following things in mind to ensure you and your family can make the most of it without any safety risks.


- Know and comply with all the applicable local ordinances and codes regarding pool safety.
- Ensure your pool designer follows the design specifications mentioned in federal/local laws, enforcement agency recommendations, etc. This may be around the dimensions of the pool ladder, handrails, drains, etc.
- Get professional help for installing electrical equipment, diving feature, etc.
- Ensure the pool area is fenced correctly and can be locked away to prevent children from accessing it unsupervised. Installing a self-closing and self-latching gate is recommended.
- Remember to mark water depths and do so conspicuously.
- Use anti-slip materials on the pool deck, diving board, and ladders.
- Keep rescue devices and first aid supplies handy.
- Carry out regular maintenance and upkeep of the pool and all related equipment.

Q. How can the safety of children be ensured in and around home swimming pools?

A.

Careful design, ample security features, and a proactive approach can take care of the pool security part to a great extent. Ensure there are sufficient barriers such as locks and fences to prevent kids from entering the pool unsupervised. Keep pool-side furniture and other objects at a distance from pool fencing/gate so that your child does not use them to bypass these all-important barriers.

Use alarms. In addition to swimming pool alarms that sound an alert upon detecting suspicious wave patterns, you may also install alarms on pool fences, gates, and any pool-facing windows. Keep safety and emergency response equipment such as pool rings, life jackets, and first aid supplies within easy reach. It is recommended to be well-versed with the CPR procedure and know exactly what to do in an emergency.

In addition to these physical controls, teach your kids to swim at an early age and ensure other family members know it too so they may respond to any emergency. It is crucial to educate your children about the dangers of swimming alone, not exercising caution in and around the pool, rough laying, and ignoring safety protocols. You may consider assigning a water watcher to keep an eye on kids when using or playing around the pool.

Q. How can swimmers stay safe when using a pool?

A.

Swimming pool safety is fairly easy as long as swimmers follow the rules, exercise caution, and stay alert. They should bear in mind the following safe behaviors:


- Obey pool rules. Follow signs and safety instructions.
- Never enter the pool when intoxicated.
- Do not enter head first unless in a pool with a safe diving area.
- Stay away from drains and other openings that cause suction.
- Do not swim alone. Swimming under the supervision of a water watcher is the ideal scenario.
- Stay away from distractions such as reading, talking, or using a cell phone.
- Wear proper pool clothing and an ample amount of sunscreen.
Know CPR and how to use pool safety equipment.

Q. Why are Pool Safety signs important?

A.

According to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP), there are 10.4 million residential and 309,000 public swimming pools in the United States. According to CDC data, drowning is a leading cause of death for children, with more 1-4-year-olds dying from drowning than any other cause of death except birth defects. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes for children between 1-14 years of age.

Children are not the only ones at risk. On average, there are 11 drowning deaths and 22 nonfatal drownings per day in the US. While this includes boating-related drowning, swimming pool accidents cannot be ignored. These worrisome figures are enough to highlight the importance of Swimming Pool Safety signs. Not only do the signs prevent accidents, but they also protect the property owner against liability. Signs convey everything from depth and diving instructions to pool rules and mandatory supervision and are relevant for public and private pools.

Q. Which signs can be used around the pool for safety?

A.

Pool Safety signage requirements often vary across states, cities, counties, and towns. These usually revolve around the sign message, dimensions, fonts, and placement. In general, the following signs cover most of the aspects of pool safety:


“No Lifeguard” sign to alert swimmers to swim cautiously
“CPR and Artificial Respiration” sign to ensure people know what to do during an emergency till help arrives
“Emergency” sign to notify the contact details of emergency responders/service providers
“Pool Capacity” sign to indicate the maximum number of people allowed in the pool at a time
“No Diving” sign where the maximum pool depth is 6 feet or less
“Keep Closed” sign at pool gates to ensure they remain shut
“Diarrhea Notice” sign to prohibit people with active diarrhea or those who had diarrhea in the last 14 days from entering the pool

Please contact your local body to find accurate information. They may have specific requirements related to safety signs to be used around a swimming pool.

Q. Are Pool Safety signs a legal requirement?

A.

This depends on where you live. Many states across the country have specific laws that mandate the use of state-specific swimming pool signs. Where state laws are absent, counties, cities, or towns enforce legislations to that effect. For instance, while Alabama does not have a statewide law regarding pool signs, counties like Baldwin, Jefferson, and Mobile have signage requirements for conveying pool dangers, rules, depth, emergency procedures, supervision, etc.

On the other hand, California has a set of pool signage regulations mentioned in the California Building Code (Title 24). These regulations cover aspects such as diving, lifeguard, maximum capacity, emergency information and procedures, and more.

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