Swimming Pool Safety at Home
With summer just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about swimming pool safety. An alarming number of children drown in the United States every year, so this should be a concern of all homeowners with or without a pool.
Pool safety is a priority of the Marion Building Department, therefore a permit is required when installing. The City of Marion has adopted the 2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, which includes provisions for pool safety:
- All outdoor swimming pools 24 inches or more in depth (including in-ground, above-ground, or on-ground pools) shall be surrounded by a barrier measuring 48 inches in height.
- Make sure all pedestrian gates in the barrier fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching. Other gates should be padlocked.
- Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
- Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
- All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or grate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007 or the successor standard ANSI/APSP-16 2011. Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings. The pool shall be closed immediately when broken, missing or non-compliant suction outlet drain covers are first noticed.
- Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it is not a substitute for the barrier fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
- Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. The covers shall comply with ASTM F1345. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
- Barriers can have limited openings, and shall not be climbable, and may be fences, or buildings.
For more information on the safety requirements, call 319-743-6330 to speak with a building inspector at the Marion Building Department or reference this Swimming Pool handout.
For more information and tips on swimming pool and spa safety visit www.poolsafely.gov.