Florida swimming pool legislation hopes to save lives

Florida residents and visitors enjoy lounging by a swimming pool on a hot summer's day. Many Florida homeowners have constructed swimming pools on their property as an easy way to beat the heat. Although swimming pools can be great source of entertainment, relaxation and exercise, they can also be extremely dangerous.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 people are killed nationwide as a result of unintentional drownings each day. An average of two out of 10 people killed are children under the age of 14 years. In fact, unintentional drownings are the fifth leading cause of accidental injury death in America.

Common causes of swimming pool accidents

There are many preventable causes of accidental swimming pool injuries and deaths. According to the CDC, lack of supervision is one of the most common. Not only does this occur when a child wanders into a swimming pool area alone, but it can also happen when there are too many people in the swimming pool area at once.

Lack of barriers, warning signs and safety devices surrounding the pool area can also lead to a devastating accident. Homeowners who construct a four-sided fence separating the pool area from the yard and home can decrease the risk of a child drowning by 83 percent, as reported by the CDC.

Children and adults who are unable to swim are more likely to drown in a pool. Swimming pool owners should always have safety equipment available and ready to use in an emergency. They should also have CPR training and be able to act quickly in the event of a swimming pool accident.

Florida swimming pool legislation

The Florida Department of Health reports that Florida has more children under the age of five die from drowning accidents than any other state in the nation. In an attempt to decrease the number of accidental drowning fatalities, the Florida state legislature has enacted swimming pool safety standards. Before a residential swimming pool can receive a certificate of completion and pass the final inspection, it must include at least one of these approved safety features:

  • It must be equipped with a safety pool cover that is approved by the state.
  • It must be contained within an enclosed area by a pool barrier that meets the state's specifications.
  • All doors that lead directly to the swimming pool must contain a self-closing and self-latching mechanism, with a release handle placed at least 54 inches from the floor.
  • All windows and doors that lead directly to the pool area must have exit alarms installed.

Homeowners who fail to implement these features on their residential swimming pool area may face a second-degree misdemeanor charge.

When to call an attorney

People who have been injured or have lost loved ones as a result of swimming pool negligence should contact an attorney. A personal injury lawyer with experience in swimming pool accident cases can provide vital legal information that may be helpful to your case.