The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) has a swimming pool safety checklist for swimming pool owners. Number one on the list for swimming pool safety practices is responsible adult supervision is mandatory at all times. In addition to proper adult supervision, "layers of protection" help enhance safety:
- Responsible Adult Supervision - Constant and responsible adult supervision is mandatory in the pool, spa, or hot tub environment.
- Drains, Suction Fittings, and Jets - Current grates and covers help prevent body or hair entrapment. Make sure that drain covers meet the ANSI/ASME A112.19.8M standard. Safety doors should be installed in all pool cleaner wall suction lines. Pools, spas, or hot tubs with drain covers that are broken, missing, or not adequately secured should not be used until the proper replacement has been installed.
- Diving - Any diving board, rock, platform or slide should be inspected prior to use to affirm that its installation conforms to applicable industry standards and government regulations.
- Electrical Hazards - A licensed electrician, experienced in swimming pools and hot tubs, should inspect your equipment to make sure everything is properly grounded, bonded, and protected by proper GFCI circuits according to Article 680 of the National Electric Code.
- Ladders, Steps and Handrails - Make sure there are adequate safe-entry and safe-exit methods in both ends of the pool and two sides of the hot tub or spa.
- Drowning Prevention - Install and routinely inspect fences, self-closing and latching gates, baby barrier fences, and alarms. ASTM standards identify four types of pool alarms: one detects movement of the surface water, one measures sub-surface pressure waves, one monitors the perimeter using a laser, and one is a personal immersion alarm that is locked onto a child's wrist. There are also alarms for doors and gates leading to the pool or hot tub area. Learn CPR. Purchase cordless phones, life rings, shepherd hooks, and lockable safety covers that meet the ASTM International F1346-91 (2003) Safety Standard.
- Water Clarity - Clear water aids in identifying soakers and swimmers in distress, helps swimmers avoid collisions and is an indicator that the sanitizer, circulation, and filtration systems are functioning. Poor water clarity suggests the presence of bacteria and/or algae or nutrients for their growth, and that the circulation and filtration systems may not be working efficiently to remove the contaminants from the water.
- Water Chemistry - Proper water chemistry begins with regular sanitization and chemical balancing. APSP professionals can ensure that your pool, spa, and hot tub water is properly and safely balanced for your enjoyment and protection of your investment.
- Heaters - Have an APSP professional technician make sure your heater is adequately bonded and ventilated. All hot tubs, spas, and pool heaters that are UL- or ETL-listed are designed with features to prevent overheating.
- Indoor Installations - Pools, spas, and hot tubs located indoors must comply with ANSI/ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standard 62-2001 to ensure adequate ventilation and safe use.
- Free Water Safety Brochures - You can obtain a wealth of water safety information by visiting www.TheAPSP.org or by calling 800.323.3996.
- Water Safety for Children - Kids can find games and activities on www.SplashZoneUSA.com to learn about safe water behavior.
- Warning Signs - Protect your family and guests. Make sure that all warning signs provided by the manufacturer, builder, or installer are displayed according to the manufacturers' specifications.
The APSP also has public service annoucements starring actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen which address swimming pool & spa safety. Please visit www.TheAPSP.org
and click on consumer resources for complimentary copies of this checklist and other important safety information brought to you by the members of APSP.