Pool Safety Requirements – SB 442

2018-1-30 Sofia Chang / ReMax Realty 2000

There is some confusion in the field about home inspections and pool safety requirements under new Senate Bill 442.

SB 442 provides that when constructing a new pool or spa or remodeling an existing pool or spa at a private single-family home, the pool or spa shall now be equipped with two of the seven following drowning prevention safety features rather than just one as required by prior law: 1. An enclosure isolating the pool or spa from the home; 2. Approved removable mesh fencing with a self-closing and self-latching gate, capable of being locked with a key; 3. An approved safety cover; 4. Exit alarms on the doors providing direct access to the pool or spa; 5. Self-closing, self-latching devices on doors providing direct access to the pool or spa; 6. An approved alarm in the pool or spa itself; 7. Other means of protection approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials, or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The requirement of additional safety features for new pools and spas or remodeling of existing pools and spas is not new, and the requirement that there be two safety features for new construction or remodeling has also been in place in some areas of the state prior to the passage of SB 442.  What is new is that home inspectors, when performing a home inspection in connection with the transfer of a one to four-unit property with a pool or spa, shall include an examination of the pool or spa to identify which of the seven drowning prevention safety features, if any, are present and specifically state if the pool or spa has less than two of the safety features.

Nothing in SB 442 requires the seller or buyer to install safety features in order to transfer the property. It seems that some have heard home inspectors as saying that these things must be done to transfer the property, but that is not the case.  SB 442 is really about disclosing a potential risk and educating buyers in what they may want to do to protect themselves and their families.

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Sofia Chang
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