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CPSC Statement on Enforcement of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Monday, December 15, 2008

To the public pool and spa safety community:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recognizes and appreciates the efforts that all of you have made throughout this year to come into compliance with Section 1404 of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, which was signed into law on December 19, 2007. Congress set out a strict, one-year timeframe in which pool and spa owners/operators needed to comply. With the requirements of the Act going into effect on Friday, December 19, 2008, there are success stories to share - from a motel chain with hundreds of pools to an operator of a single community pool who have improved the safety of their pools and spas by complying with the law.

We are aware that for many pool and spa owners, operators and installers, the production, availability and delivery of unblockable sized drain covers are the keys to your success. While others are facing the challenge of being on waiting lists for the services of a professional diver or awaiting approval of work plans by county or state officials.
Although we acknowledge the challenges that many owners and operators are still trying to overcome, this 1-year-old law is clear: all public pools and spas have until December 19, 2008 to have ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 compliant drain covers safely and securely installed and a 2nd anti-entrapment system installed where there is only a single main drain.

CPSC has an obligation to carry out the will of the Congress and to enforce the Pool & Spa Safety Act as written. This message today seeks to clarify our enforcement priorities.

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List of Manufacturers ASME/ASNI Approved Drain Covers & Safety Vacuum Release Systems

Manufacturers of ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 Approved Drain Covers

The following companies, listed alphabetically, manufacture pool and spa drain covers of various sizes and have represented to CPSC staff that their covers meet the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007 standard, as required by the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, Section 1404(c)(1)(A)(i).

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Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. 15 USC 8001 note.
15 USC 8001.


This title may be cited as the ‘‘Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act’’.

Congress finds the following:
(1) Of injury-related deaths, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 in the United States.
(2) In 2004, 761 children aged 14 and under died as a result of unintentional drowning.
(3) Adult supervision at all aquatic venues is a critical safety factor in preventing children from drowning.
(4) Research studies show that the installation and proper use of barriers or fencing, as well as additional layers of protection, could substantially reduce the number of childhood residential swimming pool drownings and near drownings.
In this title:
(1) ASME/ANSI.—The term ‘‘ASME/ANSI’’ as applied to a safety standard

For the Entire Title XIV Act (PDF File) Click Here

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act CPSC Staff Interpretation

Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

June 18, 2008 Staff Interpretation of Section 1404:
“Federal Swimming Pool and Spa Drain Cover Standard”*

On December 19, 2007, the President signed into law the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, named after the daughter of Nancy Baker and the granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. Graeme Baker died in a tragic incident in June 2002 after the suction from a spa drain entrapped her under the water. This Act was first
introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL) and was supported by the Baker family and Safe Kids Worldwide.

There is an annual average of 283 drowning deaths (2003-2005) and 2,700 emergency room-treated submersion injuries (2005-2007) involving children younger than 5 in pools and spas. In addition, from 1997-2007, there were 74 reported incidents associated with suction entrapment, including 9 deaths and 63 injuries. The new law is aimed at reducing these deaths and injuries by making pools safer, securing the environment around them, and educating consumers and industry on pool safety.

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Federal Pool Safety Legislation Passed Congress

Federal Pool Safety Legislation Passes Congress

Bill seeking to end childhood drowning heads for President's signature
December 18, 2007

(Washington, DC) -- Legislation that seeks to end hundreds of preventable childhood deaths each year passed the House of Representatives today as part of a larger Energy Bill. The legislation had already passed the Senate, so the legislation goes to the President, who has indicated he will sign the legislation into law.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz introduced The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety in the House of Representatives to combat drowning, the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages one to fourteen years old. The legislation provides incentive grants to states that pass legislation implementing layers of protection to help prevent childhood drowning and establishes an educational outreach program to alert people to the potential dangers posed to children by pools and spas.

"Quite simply, the passage of this legislation means that fewer children will die from drowning in swimming pools or spas," said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. "335 children died in the United States in 2004 and basic pool safety legislation would have dramatically reduced those childhood fatalities."

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