2008-07-18 / Top Stories

New Law Mandates Residential Pool Alarms

Assemblywoman Audrey I. Pheffer, Chair, Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, has announced that legislation introduced in the Committee and passed by the Legislature in 2006 to increase pool safety in New York has been implemented. The new law amends the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code to require pool alarms, approved by the Secretary of State, to be installed in all residential or commercial swimming pools constructed or substantially modified after December 14, 2006.

On July 2, 2008 the Secretary of State published the new regulations requiring these alarms.

"Local laws often require barriers for residential pools, but technological advances have produced several different types of pool alarms designed to sound a warning if a child falls into the water. When used in conjunction with access barriers, these alarms provide greater protection against accidental drowning, and increase overall pool safety," said Pheffer. "Unfortunately, with the recent reported drowning in pools, the need for and implementation of this law has become more urgent."

According to the National Center for Injury and Control (NCIPC), drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in children between the ages of one and fourteen nationwide, and the third leading cause of injury-related deaths of children in New York. NCIPC data also shows that twenty-six infants and children under fourteen drowned in New York State, in 2002 alone.

Information regarding the type of alarms required, as well as other important information on pool safety, can be obtained on the Department of State's website, http://www.dos.state. ny.us/code/pools.htm.

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