Drowning is the second leading cause of death amongst children aged between one and fourteen in the United States. Many families who live in low affordable housing apartments or communities attend public pools and spas during the summer months. 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 be retrofitted with certain approved safety drain covers and suction entrapment prevention devices. The law also requires the installation of 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.
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 common interest community associations. All pools and spas must be in compliance by December 20, 2008, or they cannot be opened.