Splish Splash- Swimming Pool Safety

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Splish Splash- Swimming Pool Safety- Chelan and Wenatchee Home Inspection Services

I was performing a recent home inspection that both the buyer and seller where present. During a walkthrough I made comment on the doors having direct access to the pool area should be alarmed.

The owner said “is that code”? My immediate response was “Yes”. But it made me think (ouch).

                                        Pool Safety

Pool safety really should not be taken lightly. It can only take a few minutes and someone, especially young children, can drown. Each year about 300 children under 5 drown in swimming pools. Most often the drowning occurs in the family pool. Drowning is the second most injury related fatality for children 14 and younger.

So here are some basic guidelines for pool safety-

Install a fence or other barrier, such as a wall, completely around the pool. If the house is part of the barrier, the doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with an alarm or the pool should have a power safety cover. The barrier needs to be 4 feet tall.  There are rules governing the barrier and gates that you should become familiar with.

                                                           Swimming Pool Barrier

As for the code… From the IRC (International Residential Code)
AG105.2 Outdoor swimming pool.

An outdoor swimming pool, including an in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pool, hot tub or spa shall be surrounded by a barrier which shall comply with the following:
1. The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an above-ground pool, the barrier may be at ground level, such as the pool structure, or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches.

Here are a couple of articles that you should read on pool safety.

Drowning facts and Prevention
Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools
How to plan for the Unexpected

Remember pools are great places to relax and enjoy the summer weather but they do have some inherent dangers.

Everyone in the home should learn how to swim, learn basic rescue techniques and CPR in case of an emergency. Planning ahead may just save someone’s life.

“One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”

Arnold H Glasgow


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

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Comments 11 New Comment

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Rainmaker
1,169,870
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Great post Don.  There are lots of private pools around here.  Each jurisdiction has its own rules, but most are the same.  And all address safety, of course.

August 07, 2012 04:43 AM
Rainmaker
447,855
Malcolm Johnston
Trenton Real Estate
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario

Good post Donald, I couldn't begin to imagine the heart break of losing a small child. I would take every precaution imaginable to prevent an accident in a pool.

August 07, 2012 06:53 AM
Rainmaker
341,793
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, Thank you. We have our fair share of pools also. Pool safwry is very important.

 

Malcolm, That is how I feel also. I have grown up around water and have had a few close calls. It does not take long for an accident to happen.

August 07, 2012 07:18 AM
Rainer
8,171
Richard Warden
Suffolk NY Home Inspections

>Each year about 300 children under 5 drown in swimming pools.

- Pretty sobering. Thanks for the great post.

August 21, 2012 06:44 AM
Rainmaker
341,793
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Richard, Thank you. Sometime we become so familiar with something we just do not think of some of the inherit dangers.

August 21, 2012 08:06 AM
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Rainmaker
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
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