Laws & Regulations
The common denominator for anyone who has a pool, wants to renovate their pool, or build one is the desire for fun. But without swimming pool safety, there can be no fun. Swimming pool safety affects every aspect of your swimming pool experience. It affects everyone using a pool, not just pool owners or potential ones.
The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) has been tracking swimming pool injuries and deaths due to entrapment and drowning since the 1970’s. Unfortunately, it was not until much later that swimming pool safety really started to progress forward. The industry is now focusing on precautionary mandatory established safety measures and guidelines to prevent drowning and entrapment.
In 2007, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was passed into law. This act was in response to the death of Virginia ‘Graeme’ Baker, a six year old girl who was drowned after being entrapped by a spa drain in a spa in 2002. She was a good swimmer and member of her swim team, but she became trapped by the suction of a drain in a spa.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation and mandatory standardization of preventative safety measures in the history of the swimming pool industry.
The law established federal guidelines for public pools and mandatory standards to be enacted by December 19, 2008. These included:
- A spa and drain cover and systems standard
- Anti-Entrapment device standards
- Minimum state standards for swimming pool safety. It also allows the individual states to comply with swimming pool safety and enact their own legislation equal to or above that of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Additional regulations encompass swimming pool barriers (fences, gates, and access), and pool alarms.
Below we have listed various references to Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. This information is in a brief summary format. Please review all federal, state, and local laws and regulations in your area with a professional swimming pool company to ensure compliance.
Click for additional references: The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Pool Safely” Resource Library: “Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (VGB P&SS Act) FAQ”
The above pdf file FAQ from “Pool Safely” is a summary of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act by the CPSC and puts the act in a simple to understand format. The faq answers common compliance questions.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Pool Safely” (Unoffical Compilation) “December 2014 Version Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (as amended)”
The above pdf file from “Pool Safely” (CPSC) is an unofficial summary of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act by the CPSC staff.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) “Pool and Spa Safety”
The pdf is an unofficial presentation by the CPSC and is a detailed summary (04/2016) of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act put together by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Additional Resources for Pool Safety Regulations
Listed below are the references related to federal and state (New York and Connecticut) codes for barriers (fences), access, and pool alarms, anti-entrapment equipment and devices (suction, drains, drain covers, filters, SRVS) and electrical code requirements for swimming pools.
Click here for the Additional Resources for Pool Safety Regulations
State of Connecticut, Division of Construction Services, Office of the State Building Inspector, “2016 Connecticut State Building Code”
The pdf file contains information the state of Connecticut regulations on swimming pool barriers, safety gates, pool alarms.
Career Development Seminar for Building Officials Prepared for State DAS / DCS / Office of Education & Data Management January 2015 – by Milton Gregory Grew, AIA “Connecticut Residential Code Requirements for Pools & Spas”
This pdf contains information about the state of Connecticut regulations for swimming pool barriers, safety gates, pool alarms, as well as anti-entrapment equipment and devices, and electrical guidelines and / or references.
New York Department of State, Division of Code Enforcement and Administration, “Current Requirements for Swimming Pools Contained in the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) April 2011”
This website contains information about state of New York regulations about swimming pool barriers, safety gates, and pool alarms, as well as entrapment and electrical guidelines and / or references.
Pool Safety Covers
Swimming pool safety covers must be able to hold a minimum of 485 lbs per five square feet per the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F1346-91 standard (Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs).
Click here for safety cover resources
ASTM F1346-91(2010), Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools”
The pdf file “Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools” contains information about federal guidelines for pool barriers, safety gates, safety covers, and pool door alarms.