CREIA Warns Consumers to Inspect and Maintain Swimming Pool Barriers
August 2008 (Palm Springs, Calif.) — Each year, about 260 children under age 5 drown in swimming pools. In addition, the suction from drains in swimming pools and spas, under certain conditions, can entrap swimmers underwater. To help protect your family, be sure to take the following steps. Place barriers completely around the pool, closely supervise young children, and be prepared in case of emergency.
Install physical barriers around the pool to limit access. Fences and walls should be at least 4-feet high and installed completely around the pool. Gates should be self-closing, self-latching, and swing away from the pool area. The latch should be out of reach of small children. If your house forms one side of the barrier for the pool, doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that sound when the doors are unexpectedly opened. Or, use a power safety cover, a motor-powered barrier placed over the water area, to prevent access by young children. For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured or removed when the pool is not in use.
Never use a pool or spa with a missing or broken drain cover. Be sure a newer, safer drain cover is in place. The new “anti-vortex” type drain covers are usually domed-shaped, with smaller openings – instead of the old flat drain covers. Consider installing a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS), a device that will automatically shut off a pump if a blockage is detected. Plainly mark the location of the electrical cut-off switch for the pool or spa pump. If someone is entrapped against a drain, cut off the pump immediately. Instead of trying to pull the person away from the powerful suction - pry a hand between the drain and the person’s body to break the seal. Have a professional regularly inspect your pool or spa for proper safety barriers, and entrapment or entanglement hazards.
For more information, including specific codes and standards, contact your local building department and visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.
CREIA requires its members to successfully pass a comprehensive written examination of property systems and complete 30 hours of continuing education each year. Members can accumulate credits through various sources of education including monthly chapter meetings, conferences, and other approved activities. CREIA keeps records to ensure that members are complying with the requirements. Educational topics cover a variety of technical subjects including updates and advances affecting the profession of real estate inspection. CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education.
Since 1976, CREIA, a non-profit voluntary membership organization has been providing education, training, and support services to the real estate inspection industry and to the public. Inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed by the association. These Standards of Practice have been recognized by the State of California, and are considered the source for home inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities. To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you click here or call CREIA at (800) 388-8443.
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