By the Northeast Spa & Pool Association
HAMILTON – The weather is warming up and backyard pools are calling. But, before the family peels down to swimsuits and starts splashing, it’s best to add on some layers – in pool safety protection.
May is Water Safety Month, a safety awareness program sponsored by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). According to APSP President and CEO Bill Weber, “The best way for adults and children to enjoy the fun and health benefits that our industry provides is through layers of protection, and most importantly through active adult supervision.”
Layers of protection is about multiple safeguards, starting with continual supervision, and carrying through to alarms, fences, self-latching gates, close availability of life-saving equipment and other precautions that can prevent drowning. Safety precautions also encompass prevention of slips and falls, monitoring water chemistry and taking steps to eliminate hazards related to electrical, heating or other equipment.
While many safety precautions are completely voluntary, some are mandated by law. One of the most recent is the enactment of safety codes designed to prevent entrapment dangers caused by suction from spa and pool drains. The codes require new residential pools and spas to have updated drain covers, as well as a dual drain Suction Vacuum Release System (SVRS). Owners of older pools and spas can ask their pool service provider to install drain covers that meet safety requirements.
Homeowners looking to maximize the safety of their backyard pool or spa can look to the Northeast Pool and Spa Association (NESPA) for safety information and referrals to local NESPA members who can recommend safety measures. “Our organization emphasizes that a fun pool is a safe pool,” notes NESPA President Clive Ensher. “At the top of our list is adult supervision at all times. There is no substitute for that.”
NESPA members can help you review your layers of protection, and recommend ways to assure the safe enjoyment of your pool or spa. For more information, visit the NESPA website at www.nespapool.org. You’ll find a list of NESPA members, safety checklists and recommendations, photos of award-winning designs, and a wealth of information on how to build, operate and maintain a safe pool or spa.
The Northeast Spa & Pool Association is the Northeast affiliate of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.