With warmer weather and outdoor activities on the horizon, the International Code Council (ICC) is partnering with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Pool Safely Campaign to increase visibility among Americans about pool and spa safety. Pool Safely is the national public education initiative that raises awareness about drowning prevention and entrapment incidents to save children’s lives in pools and spas.
Specifically, Pool Safely supports Section 1407 of the Virginia Graeme Baker (VGB) Act, which calls for the creation of an education and media campaign that will serve as a call to action for child drowning and drain entrapment prevention among consumers and the pool and spa industry. Virginia Graeme Baker was the seven-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker III who drowned after she was trapped under water by the powerful suction from a spa drain.
“Nearly 400 pool and spa drownings occur in the U.S. each year involving children younger than 15 years old,” explained ICC CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “These troubling statistics were among the guiding principles in the development of the International Swimming Pool & Spa Code (ISPSC). This is a great opportunity for our association to partner with CPSC to help educate the public about protecting children from accidents that can be prevented through the adoption of safety codes and standards.”
The ISPSC is developed by ICC with the support of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and encompasses the design, installation and inspection of aquatic facilities based on current ANSI standards technology and code provisions. In addition to regulations for drain covers and grates, outlet configurations and fittings, and vacuum release or vented systems, the ISPSC also requires barriers to entry on all outdoor residential pools and spas that effectively prevent small children from gaining unsupervised access. It is the first comprehensive swimming pool and spa code to upgrade pool safety and meet the requirements of the VGB Act.
“CPSC is excited for the Pool Safely campaign to collaborate with ICC,” said Ellyn Pollack, Pool Safely campaign leader. “Through this partnership, we have the valuable opportunity to educate even more parents and caregivers on the simple steps that will keep children safer in and around the water.”
Click here for tools and other resources to promote Pool Safely in your community.