Pool and Spa Safety
Having first aid kit and basic rescue
equipment on hand can help you to respond to an emergency situation.
Equipment should be easily accessible and ready for use. Regular
inspection for deterioration and damage, their replacement are
Every health department codes require signs
that state pool and spa rules and warnings, to be prominently
displayed near the commercial pool or spa. Check the local codes for
size of letters and wordings, required proximity to the water's edge
and other specifics.
More important however, if you are the service
technician for a commercial pool and someone is injured, the first
thing they check is if the appropriate warning signage was posted or
you might be held liable for negligence.
The basic signs that you need depends on your
local codes. Some of them are:
Maximum Bather Load This sign in simple
bold, block letters, usually says, Occupant Capacity_____ or,
Maximum Occupants_____ .The number of occupant depends on the local
Many jurisdictions allow 10 square feet of
surface area for each bather, so a 10-by-30-foot pool would allow a
maximum of 45 occupants at a time (450 square feet of surface
area/10 = 45). Other rules guide spa occupancy or wading pools for
kids, so check local requirements before writing the number in the
blank provided. Use paint or an indelible marker so the number
cannot be changed by pranksters.
Artificial Respiration This is a sign
diagrams of artificial respiration and first-aid techniques in case
of emergency. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with these
techniques by at least studying the sign.
Warning: No Lifeguard/No Diving This
sign advises bathers that no lifeguard is on duty at this pool or
spa, and no diving is allowed.
Emergency Phone Numbers This sign
prominently displays 911 for general emergency calling. Spaces are
included for the phone numbers of a local emergency room or doctor,
fire department and police.
Pool/Spa Rules This sign is available
with residential or commercial pools or spas and includes age
restrictions of users like body infections, influence of certain
drugs, unsupervised children, hours for use, and many more. These
rules might be generic common-sense rules. Temperature of water
should not be allowed beyond 104 degree F. The deck should be
slip-resistant. Also daily records should be kept in commercial
pools and spa, to verify maintenance.
Emergency Shutoff This sign is posted
next to the electrical switch that cuts all power to all equipment,
in case of emergency. It simply makes users aware that the shutoff
exists in case someone is injured in the pool or spa especially when
clothes get sucked into powerful pump suction openings in the spa.
Danger and Pool Closed These sign are
good ones to keep in case of emergency and to announce that the pool
is closed for service or cleaning. This can prevent accidents from
A toss ring or the ring buoy should be mounted
prominently near the pool for rescue purposes, if someone is
drowning. A toss ring is a foam plastic ring that has a rope
attached to it. The rope should be as long as half the width of the
pool at its widest point, so that it can be thrown to a conscious
distressed victim who would be able to hold on. Most jurisdictions
require the toss ring for commercial pools and spas only, but are
handy even in residential pools.
The life hook is a pole with a large metal
hook on the end. It is also known as the Shepherd's crook. It is
required to be mounted near the pool or spa to help someone out of
the water, if needed. The pole is 6 to 9 feet long with a broad,
looped hook on the end. This helps to draw in an unconscious victim
floating on or below the surface.
Some commercial pools require an in-water
thermometer be available at each pool and spa. You can simply tie a
thermometer to a rail or ladder, or there are tube models with a
float on the top that float on the surface of the water. But a unit
that is built into the skimmer cover and takes the temperature at
the skimmer, is better where they are out of sight and are not
tampered. You and the health department inspector need to check the
thermometer for correct temperature of the water.
In-line thermometers, designed like in-line
flow meters, are also available for installation into the equipment
plumbing or directly to the heater manifold. Digital readout,
battery-operated thermometers and pH testers are also available in
floating models or with test probes that you put in the water while
reading the information on a small hand-held device about the size
of a calculator.