Healy Scanlon Law Firm

Are Illinois residents aware of the Pool & Spa Safety Act?


Swimming is universally acknowledged as one of the best forms of physical exercise. Additionally, it is a fun activity that children and adults can both enjoy. In addition to exercise and fun, knowing how to swim can be crucial in many circumstances. However, news reports often talk of a swimming pool accident that caused either head or neck injuries or even killed a swimmer. Sadly, many of those victims are children, and many times it is discovered that negligent pool maintenance was the reason behind the swimming pool accident.

In order to address this concern, the Virginia Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act was enacted in December 2007. The purpose of the act is to prevent the various hazards in swimming pools that are a result of drain entrapments and eviscerations in swimming pools and spas. According to the P&SS Act, every public swimming pool and spa in Illinois and the rest of the country must have drain covers and second anti-entrapment systems that meet certain performance standards.

The P&SS Act is applicable to all swimming pools and spas that are accessible to the general public. It is also applicable to swimming pools that are within residential complexes, hotels and resorts and government-run swimming pools. However, the act does not apply to therapy pools, like those at rehabilitation centers; baptismals since they do not fall under the definition of a swimming pool per the P&SS Act; and fountains, unless they are designated for swimming or other recreational activities.

According to the P&SS Act, every public swimming pool owner and operator must comply with the act's guidelines, which recommend certain safety measures that can prevent injuries or fatalities in swimming pools. In order to promote swimming pool and spa safety, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who are the guardians of this act, runs the Pool Safely campaign. The motive of the campaign is to spread awareness about swimming pool safety and take legal action against pools or spas and shut them down if they do not comply with the P&SS Act.

Source: PoolSafely.gov, "The P&SS Act and You," Accessed on Feb. 12, 2015

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