California law now in effect as of January 1, 2018, for new swimming pools has safety elements and drowning prevention requirements.
New pools must be constructed with at least two of seven drowning prevention safety features (as opposed to the current one) for a private single-family home.
The exemption for localities that have their own pool ordinances is eliminated. In regard to home inspectors, it requires them to include within their inspection a noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa for the purpose of identifying which of the seven drowning prevention safety features the pool or spa has. This information must then be included in the home inspection report.
This law does not create any new disclosure obligation on the part of agents. Under the existing Swimming Pool Safety Act, upon the issuance of a building permit for construction of a new swimming pool or spa, or the remodeling of an existing pool or spa, at a private, single-family home, the pool or spa is required to be equipped with at least one of seven drowning prevention safety features.
This new law requires, when a building permit is issued, that the pool or spa be equipped with at least two of seven specified drowning prevention safety features. It also deletes the exemption for political subdivisions that adopt ordinances for swimming pools.
The seven drowning prevention safety features are:
(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.
(2) Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.
(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.
(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”
(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.
(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
This new law, as part of the definition of home inspection for the transfer of real property, specifies that an appropriate inspection of real property with a swimming pool or spa would include noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa and dwelling for the purpose of identifying which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features the pool or spa is equipped. The information is required to be included in the home inspection report.
Home Inspectors Swimming Pool Safety Home inspection must include non-invasive physical examination of pool. However, this requirement does not create any new disclosure obligation on the part of real estate agents.
This article is presented by Harrison K. Long, CA real estate broker, CALBRE 01410855, Realtor and broker associate, HomeSmart Evergreen Realty, Irvine and Orange County CA. Also an attorney member of the CA State Bar Association #69137.
Disclaimer: This is for information only and is not the providing of legal services. If you have a real estate legal situation involving your home and property, you should contact an experienced real estate attorney.
“Swimming Pools Have New CA Safety and Drowning Prevention Requirements”