Alameda Swimming Pools Closed Due to Unsafe Entrapment Dangers
Recently two public pools in the City of Alameda were closed for failure to comply with Assembly Bill 1020. That Bill is designed to prevent entrapment hazards in pools and spas. As an Alameda personal injury lawyer, I vehemently support such a bill.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is aware of 74 cases of body entrapment, including 13 deaths between 1990 and 2004 when a person drown due to being held against a drain by suction of the circulation pump. They have enacted guidelines for entrapment hazards to make pools and spas safer.
In order to prevent serious swimming pool injuries the CPSC recommends never using a pool or spa with a missing or broken drain cover. Consider installing a Safety vacuum release system to automatically shut off a pump if a blockage occurs. Have your pool regularly inspected. If someone is entrapped against a drain, cut off the pump immediately. Instead of trying to pull the person away from the powerful suction, pry a hand between the drain and the person’s body to break the seal.
If a city or private person negligently owns and maintains a pool which does not comply with the safety laws they will be held responsible for any personal injuries that occur as a result. When injuries are caused by the actions of school districts, cities, or other public pool owners, government claims must be filed against the public entity within six months of the date of the injury or the claims will be barred by law.