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With the arrival of spring, the Consumer Products Safety Commission is warning consumers about the dangers of pool and spa drain covers and entrapment risks — defective pool products continue to pose the risk of serious or fatal injury.
Our defective pool product attorneys understand there are a number of ways a manufacturer or owner of a pool or spa may be responsible for serious injury or death resulting from an accident in a swimming pool or spa. A part, including a drain, pump, or pool or spa cover, may have a defective design or be improperly installed. The pool or spa may also have developed a dangerous condition as a result of having been exposed to the elements — which can be a maintenance issue not addressed by the owner.
However, such issues may also result from a product defect when a part fails after being subjected to normal wear and tear that should have been foreseen by the manufacturer. Finally, a pool or spa (or related equipment) may have been improperly installed.
Last month’s announcement by the CPSC also revealed that flow-rate testing protocols for drain covers may be improper or inadequate — and that some covers certified by laboratories may not meet the requirements of the nationwide Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Inadequate test results may fail to prevent drain entrapment. As a result the government has issued subpoenas to three testing laboratories and seized more than 17,000 pages of documentation.
Safety advocates urge pool and spa owners to contact service providers and product manufacturers for additional testing and certification of drain covers. Parents and caregivers should also use heightened caution and children should be kept away from drain covers or other openings.
Parents are also urged to review general swimming pool safety tips with their children this spring — each year more than 300 kids drown in preventable swimming pool accidents.
Basic Safety Tips Include:
-Always supervise children around pools or spas.
-Teach children basic water safety.
-Keep a telephone near the pool.
-If a child is missing, look in the pool or spa first.
-Learn to swim and make sure your children know how to swim.
-Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.
-Install a fence around a pool or spa, including self-latching gates.
-Use a lockable pool cover.
-Install door alarms on doors leading to the pool area.
-Properly maintain your pool or spa.