The new law, Senate Bill 442, would also require home inspectors to examine pools and spas and record in their reports which safety features, if any, are present when a home is sold. In connection with the transfer, as defined in subdivision of real property with a swimming pool or spa, an appropriate inspection shall include a noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa and dwelling for the purpose of identifying which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped.
“When the families of victims came to me with ways to improve the outdated pool safety act, and thereby prevent others from experiencing the tragedies they had endured through the drowning or near-drowning of a child, I was moved to act,” Democratic State Sen. Josh Newman of Orange County, who introduced the bill in February, said in a recent news release.
“Residential pool drownings can be prevented, and SB 442 will go far toward reducing the pain and costs associated with pool drownings,” Newman added.
Safety features that comply with the new law, as outlined in Senate Bill 442:
An enclosure that isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.
Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.
An approved safety pool cover
Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”
A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.
Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).