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Pool Safety Laws: Here’s the Latest

Image of a pool to ask: Do you know about the new pool safety laws?Do you know the new pool safety laws?

If you’re a Santa Barbara homeowner who’s planning to add or remodel your pool in 2018, you’ll want to know the latest in pool safety laws. A new California law requires additional safety devices. That means when a permit is issued here in Santa Barbara for building or remodeling a swimming pool or spa, that pool or spa must be equipped with at least two of seven specified safety devices. This new law affects home buyers and sellers too. If you have a pool and are considering moving, home inspectors are now required to make note of the presence or absence of such devices.
According to Senate Bill 442, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Additionally, for every drowning in this age group, five or more suffer from near-drowning injuries that can cause life-long disabilities.
In 1997, California’s Swimming Pool Safety Law Act went into effect. That law required that any single-family home pool built thereafter had to be equipped with at least one of the five following safety devices:
(1) a permanent fence, of specified dimensions, that isolates the pool or spa from the home
(2) a pool cover meeting certain safety standards
(3) exit alarms on doors leading from the home to the pool
(4) self-closing, self-latching devices on doors leading from the home to the pool (5) any other safety device feature providing as much protection as the specified four and as verified by the American Society for Testing and Materials
(6) removable mesh fencing that meets ASTM standards and a gate that is self-closing, self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device
(7) a pool alarm that sounds when someone or something of a certain size enters the water
The latest addition to pool safety law requires that any pool or spa built or remodeled after January 1, 2018, must have at least two of the 7 safety features outlined above. The bill also requires that, if a home inspection report is issued for a single-family home that has a pool or spa, “… the report shall identify which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features [as listed] the pool or spa, is equipped with and shall specifically state if the pool or spa has fewer than two of the listed drowning prevention safety features.”
The new California pool safety law will hopefully help keep our kids safe from harm. For more ideas on keeping kids safe around the pool, read my previous blog on the topic. Rather than going through the headache to build or remodel your pool in 2018, perhaps you’d like to move to a new home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities.If so, please call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at

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