2009 California Health and Safety Code - Section 115920-115929 :: Article 2.5. The Swimming Pool Safety Act

SECTION 115920-115929

115920.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the Swimming
Pool Safety Act.

115921.  As used in this article the following terms have the
following meanings:
   (a) "Swimming pool" or "pool" means any structure intended for
swimming or recreational bathing that contains water over 18 inches
deep. "Swimming pool" includes in-ground and above-ground structures
and includes, but is not limited to, hot tubs, spas, portable spas,
and nonportable wading pools.
   (b) "Public swimming pool" means a swimming pool operated for the
use of the general public with or without charge, or for the use of
the members and guests of a private club. Public swimming pool does
not include a swimming pool located on the grounds of a private
single-family home.
   (c) "Enclosure" means a fence, wall, or other barrier that
isolates a swimming pool from access to the home.
   (d) "Approved safety pool cover" means a manually or
power-operated safety pool cover that meets all of the performance
standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM),
in compliance with standard F1346-91.
   (e) "Exit alarms" means devices that make audible, continuous
alarm sounds when any door or window, that permits access from the
residence to the pool area that is without any intervening enclosure,
is opened or is left ajar. Exit alarms may be battery operated or
may be connected to the electrical wiring of the building.

115922.  (a) Commencing January 1, 2007, except as provided in
Section 115925, whenever a building permit is issued for construction
of a new swimming pool or spa, or any building permit is issued for
remodeling of an existing pool or spa, at a private, single-family
home, it shall be equipped with at least one of the following seven
drowning prevention safety features:
   (1) The pool shall be isolated from access to a home by an
enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923.
    (2) The pool shall incorporate removable mesh pool fencing that
meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Specifications F 2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is
self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable
   (3) The pool shall be equipped with an approved safety pool cover
that meets all requirements of the ASTM Specifications F 1346 .
    (4) The residence shall be equipped with exit alarms on those
doors providing direct access to the pool.
    (5) All doors providing direct access from the home to the
swimming pool shall be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching
device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above
the floor.
    (6) Swimming pool alarms that, when placed in pools, will sound
upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water.
These pool alarms shall meet and be independently certified to the
ASTM Standard F 2208 "Standards Specification for Pool Alarms" which
includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type
alarms. For purposes of this article, "swimming pool alarms" shall
not include swimming protection alarm devices designed for individual
use, such as an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child
exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water.
   (7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection
afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the
devices set forth above, and have been independently verified by an
approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those devices
established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME).
   (b) Prior to the issuance of any final approval for the completion
of permitted construction or remodeling work, the local building
code official shall inspect the drowning safety prevention devices
required by this act and if no violations are found, shall give final

115923.  An enclosure shall have all of the following
   (a) Any access gates through the enclosure open away from the
swimming pool, and are self-closing with a self-latching device
placed no lower than 60 inches above the ground.
   (b) A minimum height of 60 inches.
   (c) A maximum vertical clearance from the ground to the bottom of
the enclosure of two inches.
   (d) Gaps or voids, if any, do not allow passage of a sphere equal
to or greater than four inches in diameter.
   (e) An outside surface free of protrusions, cavities, or other
physical characteristics that would serve as handholds or footholds
that could enable a child below the age of five years to climb over.

115924.  (a) Any person entering into an agreement to build a
swimming pool or spa, or to engage in permitted work on a pool or spa
covered by this article, shall give the consumer notice of the
requirements of this article.
   (b) Pursuant to existing law, the Department of Health Services
shall have available on the department's Web site, commencing January
1, 2007, approved pool safety information available for consumers to
download. Pool contractors are encouraged to share this information
with consumers regarding the potential dangers a pool or spa poses to
toddlers. Additionally, pool contractors may provide the consumer
with swimming pool safety materials produced from organizations such
as the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, Drowning
Prevention Foundation, California Coalition for Children's Safety &
Health, Safe Kids Worldwide, Association of Pool and Spa
Professionals, or the American Academy of Pediatrics.

115925.  The requirements of this article shall not apply to any of
the following:
   (a) Public swimming pools.
   (b) Hot tubs or spas with locking safety covers that comply with
the American Society for Testing Materials-Emergency Performance
Specification (ASTM-ES 13-89).
   (c) Any pool within the jurisdiction of any political subdivision
that adopts an ordinance for swimming pool safety that includes
requirements that are at least as stringent as this article.
   (d) An apartment complex, or any residential setting other than a
single-family home.

115926.  This article does not apply to any facility regulated by
the State Department of Social Services even if the facility is also
used as the private residence of the operator. Pool safety in those
facilities shall be regulated pursuant to regulations adopted
therefor by the State Department of Social Services.

115927.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this article
shall not be subject to further modification or interpretation by any
regulatory agency of the state, this authority being reserved
exclusively to local jurisdictions, as provided for in subdivision
(e) of Section 115922 and subdivision (c) of Section 115924.

115928.  Whenever a building permit is issued for the construction
of a new swimming pool or spa, the pool or spa shall meet all of the
following requirements:
   (a) (1) The suction outlet of the pool or spa for which the permit
is issued shall be equipped to provide circulation throughout the
pool or spa as prescribed in paragraph (2).
   (2) The swimming pool or spa shall have at least two circulation
drains per pump that shall be hydraulically balanced and
symmetrically plumbed through one or more "T" fittings, and that are
separated by a distance of at least three feet in any dimension
between the drains.
   (b) Suction outlets that are less than 12 inches across shall be
covered with antientrapment grates, as specified in the ASME/ANSI
Standard A 112.19.8, that cannot be removed except with the use of
tools. Slots or openings in the grates or similar protective devices
shall be of a shape, area, and arrangement that would prevent
physical entrapment and would not pose any suction hazard to bathers.
   (c) Any backup safety system that an owner of a new swimming pool
or spa may choose to install in addition to the requirements set
forth in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall meet the standards as
published in the document, "Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making
Pools and Spas Safer," Publication Number 363, March 2005, United
States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

115928.5.  Whenever a building permit is issued for the remodel or
modification of an existing swimming pool, toddler pool, or spa, the
permit shall require that the suction outlet of the existing swimming
pool, toddler pool, or spa be upgraded so as to be equipped with an
antientrapment cover meeting current standards of the American
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the American Society of
Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

115929.  (a) The Legislature encourages a private entity, in
consultation with the Epidemiology and Prevention for Injury Control
Branch of the department, to produce an informative brochure or
booklet, for consumer use, explaining the child drowning hazards of,
possible safety measures for, and appropriate drowning hazard
prevention measures for, home swimming pools and spas, and to donate
the document to the department.
   (b) The Legislature encourages the private entity to use existing
documents from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
on pool safety.
   (c) If a private entity produces the document described in
subdivisions (a) and (b) and donates it to the department, the
department shall review and approve the brochure or booklet.
   (d) Upon approval of the document by the department, the document
shall become the property of the state and a part of the public
domain. The department shall place the document on its Web site in a
format that is readily available for downloading and for publication.
The department shall review the document in a timely and prudent
fashion and shall complete the review within 18 months of receipt of
the document from a private entity.

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