Backyard swimming pools are a great addition to any home during the summer. They provide a super fun way to beat the heat and instantly make your backyard the destination of the neighborhood. However, swimming pools are not all fun and games. They must be taken very seriously, and the state of Tennessee is doing just that. There have been too many deaths due to children drowning in backyard swimming pools covers, but the one in 2009 caused the state to change their laws.
In 2009, Katie Beth drowned in an above-ground swimming pool at only 17 months old. This incident was heart breaking enough to cause some changes. The state of Tennessee now requires all pool owners to have a pool alarm in order to save lives. However, Richard Petty of Gordonsville, Tennessee warns the pool owners that this is not a complete solution. People believe that when they install a pool alarm, they no longer need to keep a close eye on their swimming pool, but Petty argues that this is not the case. He believes that the most important aspect of security is "adult supervision." If a private swimming pool has a pool alarm but does not have responsible adult owners, the alarm is pointless.
Tennessee is not the only state taking charge of the swimming pool regulations. New York passed a law similar to this one, but it actually applies to all swimming pools, commercial included. Every single swimming pool must have a pool alarm installed in the state of New York. Most states already require some kind of fence and self closing gate to be built around a swimming pool, so New York and Tennessee are going the extra mile for safety’s sake and requiring a pool alarm as well.
Not following this law can cause Tennessee residents to pay anywhere from 100 to 500 dollars. If your pool is not equipped with a working pool alarm, then it will not be approved by an electrical inspector. If it is not inspected and approved, then it is illegal for anyone to be swimming in it. Therefore, without a pool alarm, your pool will not be anything but a hole in the ground filled with unused water.
Of course, whether or not your state requires a pool alarm or self closing gate with a fence, it is highly recommended that you install both. Not having either or just having one can pose a lot of danger for small children and pets in your neighborhood. Too many deaths have been caused because of irresponsible pool owners, so think twice about what kind of protection you want to install around your swimming pool. Once you have taken care of all the necessary precautions of owning a swimming pool like a cover, fence, self-closing gate, and swimming pool alarm, you can rest assured in the safety of your pool. But like Richard Petty said, it is not an excuse for you not to keep a close eye on your swimming pool at all time. Children and pets can still find a way to make it in the pool area, so keep your pool supervised.