The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) went into effect several years ago after the child’s death from a spa drain entrapment. Currently an investigation is underway by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding how flow rates were tested on pool and spa drain covers to comply with the P&SS Act standards.
Our Palm Beach personal injury attorneys are aware of the danger of drain entrapment from pools and spas. They know the force of the suction from a filter can pull a swimmers body part, clothing or hair into or against the pool drain. The powerful suction locks the victim to the drain and causes a high risk for a pool drowning accident.
There have been cases where small children have sat on drains and have sustained life threatening and fatal injuries from being disemboweled from the suction.
Massive amounts of information have been requested from laboratories that do testing on drain covers. CPSC staff is going over more than 17,000 pages of data covering testing protocols and procedures, test results and the type of covers that underwent testing.
It is hoped that CPSC can alert the public by Memorial Day weekend regarding which type of drain covers were improperly tested. Stringent flow rate standards are part of the P&SS Act and are vital in preventing deadly drain entrapment accidents.
Everyone that owns a pool or spa is encouraged to contact their pool/spa manufacturer and find out the type of drain cover you have. Make sure it is not the type that fits flush against the pool bottom, which is not an anti-entrapment style design. The Act requires public pools and spas to have the anti-entrapment style cover. Though it is not a requirement for residential owners it is wise to get one to avoid a potential drain entrapment accident.
The anti-entrapment cover is designed so that all the holes in the drain can’t be covered all at once. This is what causes the victim to be locked onto the drain.
Shockingly, kiddie pools and wading pools commonly have single main drain systems, which is the system that has the potential risk to cause a drain entrapment hazard.
General pool maintenance should also be a concern for pool owners at this time of year. While many swimming pools are used year around in South Florida, it can mean there is no designated time to conduct a thorough review of your pool’s condition. Addressing maintenance needs before a serious or fatal accident is the best bet for preventing a tragedy and a premise liability claim.
If you or someone you know has been in a pool or spa accident in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach or the surrounding areas, contact the personal injury lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez. Call for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights at 1-800-529-2368.