New Federal Pool Safety Law Affects Community Associations

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For those community associations with pools, it just got a little safer to go back in the water...

On December 19, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law the “Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act,” which requires that all existing public pools and spas to be retrofitted with certain approved types of safety drain covers and suction entrapment prevention devices. The law also requires barriers to protect small children from gaining unsupervised access to a pool or spa. The stated goal of this new legislation requiring these new safety measures is to eliminate all future risk of entrapment and prevent drowning, which is the second leading cause of death among children in the United States ages one to fourteen. You can find the text of this new law here.

The legislation defines public pools as those “open to the public generally” as well as pools open exclusively to a “residential real estate development or multi-family residential area”, making the law’s requirements specifically applicable to most community associations. This new legislation is currently in effect and all pools and spas must be in compliance by December 20, 2008, or they cannot be opened.

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