Measure to update 20-year-old Swimming Pool Safety Act Signed by Governor Brown

Sacramento, CA – Senate Bill (SB) 442 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown this afternoon. The measure updates the 20-year-old residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, and its common-sense and cost-effective modifications prevent drowning fatalities across the state by requiring an additional layer of safety in residential and public pools, while also requiring inspection of pool safety measures as part of the sale and transfer of a home in California.

Said Senator Newman:

“When the families of victims came to me with ways to improve the outdated pool safety act, and thereby prevent others from experiencing the tragedies they had endured through the drowning or near-drowning of a child, I was moved to act. Residential pool drownings can be prevented, and SB 442 will go far toward reducing the pain and costs associated with pool drownings.”

“Requiring an additional safety feature on residential pools will significantly reduce incidents of drowning and drowning-related injuries. I commend and thank Governor Brown for signing this bill.”

Drowning is the second-leading cause of death for children ages one to four. From 2010 to 2014 there were 160 drowning deaths of California children between the ages of one and four years old. During the same span, more than 741 children were hospitalized due to brain injuries caused by drowning.

The original California Pool Safety Act was passed in 1996 to address residential pool drowning. It required all new swimming pools constructed at single-family homes be equipped with either a permanent fence, a pool cover, exit alarms or self-closing devices on all doors providing access to the pool, or another safety feature providing as least as much protection as the specified four. The act was amended in 2006 to reflect the availability of two additional drowning-prevention features: removable mesh fencing and pool alarms that sound when a person enters the water.

SB 442 will require residential pools to have two of the seven safety devices specified. SB 442 will also require a home inspector, at the point of sale, to include in their report which of the two safety devices the pool or spa has or does not have to help aide in compliance with the law.

Senator Josh Newman represents the 29th Senate District, which includes cities across Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties.

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