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Pool and Spa Safety Equipment

Safety Equipment

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 required.


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 codes.

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 happening.

Toss Rings

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.

Life Hooks

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.