In New York, there are a number of general safety regulations regarding swimming pools and spas, as well as various additional measures required of businesses that own and operate swimming facilities. Certain districts have local laws and regulations that either modify or add onto those required by the state, so anyone who plans on building a pool or who owns one already should be aware of not only state but also local regulations. Following these requirements not only reduces the chance of an accident, but protects against liability if something does occur.

Any swimming pool built or heavily modified in New York after 2006 must be equipped with a pool alarm. This alarm must monitor the surface of the pool and emit a sound whenever someone enters the water. Multiple alarms may be necessary to monitor a large pool and at least two alarm emitters are required: one at the pool location, and another elsewhere on the premises. Pool alarms are not required in a hot tub or spa with a safety cover, nor are they necessary on a pool with an automatic power safety cover.

A barrier around the pool is required not only once it is complete, but also during any construction or repairs on the pool. When a swimming pool is being built, a temporary barrier must be erected to protect people from wandering into the area. It must be at least four feet in height, though above ground pools can provide some of the barrier themselves based on the design. The temporary barrier must remain up until the pool is completed, or within 90 days of first being built.

Once the swimming pool is complete, a permanent barrier is mandatory for any swimming pool or spa. The barrier needs to be four feet high and free of nearby objects that can be used to climb over it. Above ground pools can provide their own barriers, as long as there is no gap more than four inches between it and the wall of the pool. Walls of a house or building can make up part of the barrier, so long as the pool has a powered safety cover and any doors in the wall include an alarm or safety latch to prevent unauthorized access to the pool.

Suction and drainage for a pool in New York must also be provided in a way that keeps it safe. Any suction sources must have coverings that protect others from being trapped by them, and pool cleaners must be located near the surface of the water or as an attachment to a skimmer. Following these guidelines can help ensure the safe, fun use of a pool, but accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one have been injured in a New York swimming pool accident, call us at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today at (212) 986-7353 to discuss your case and talk about your options.