When it comes to swimming pools, safety has got to be your number-one priority.

When it comes to swim­ming pools, safety has got to be your number-one priority.

Thanks to the Asso­ci­a­tion of Pool and Spa Pro­fes­sion­als for this very impor­tant information.

An exposed drain in your pool or spa presents a seri­ous dan­ger to chil­dren and adults. All drains must be pro­tected by an approved cover. If any out­let cover is bro­ken, loose, or miss­ing, the pool should be closed imme­di­ately, and you should con­tact a pro to repair or replace it.

What is Suc­tion Entrapment?

Suc­tion entrap­ment occurs when some­thing or some­one becomes stuck to a drain or suc­tion fit­ting in a pool or spa. It is a seri­ous poten­tial haz­ard, par­tic­u­larly for chil­dren, who are too small to break away. Hair, limbs and other body parts are espe­cially at risk of entrapment.

How can I pre­vent it?

  • If your pool or spa has a miss­ing, bro­ken, or just old drain cover, have it replaced with one that is up-to-date and com­pli­ant with the new ANSI/ASME test standard.
  • Never let any­one swim alone, espe­cially a child. A respon­si­ble adult should always be either right with the child, or actively watching.
  • Never run your pump at higher speeds than the rec­om­mended max­i­mum. High-water veloc­ity can con­tribute to suc­tion entrapment.
  • Make sure your pool or spa is pro­tected with locked doors and/or gates to keep out small chil­dren and ani­mals when you’re not there.
  • Mark your emer­gency shut-off switch with a per­ma­nent sign, eas­ily vis­i­ble in the pool or spa area, so that any­one can find and use it within seconds.
  • Don’t let any­one swim or play near drains and suc­tion fit­tings. It’s fun to feel the suc­tion at a main drain—but it’s also poten­tially fatal.
  • Have your pool or spa inspected by a licensed indus­try pro­fes­sional. He can tell you if there’s any­thing else you need to do.

There are five types of entrap­ment. Be aware of all five and learn how to pro­tect your­self and fam­ily from danger:

  • Hair entrap­ment
    Hair can become entan­gled in an improp­erly cov­ered drain.
  • Limb entrap­ment
    Arms or legs can get lodged and may not be able to be pulled free from an improp­erly cov­ered drain, even if the pumps are turned off.
  • Body entrap­ment
    Any part of the body that cov­ers a drain can be held down by the suction.
  • Evis­cer­a­tion
    Sit­ting on a drain with suc­tion or a bro­ken or miss­ing cover can cause injuries or disembowelment.
  • Mechan­i­cal entrap­ment
    Fin­gers, toes, and items such as jew­elry or a bathing suit can become entangled

No sin­gle means of pro­tec­tion is effec­tive against entrapment

You will need to decide what works best for your new or exist­ing pool or spa — whether it’s mul­ti­ple drains, a sin­gle “unlock­able” main drain, a safety vac­uum release sys­tem, an equal­izer line, or any of sev­eral solutions.

Ques­tions about the safety of your pool? As always, please give us a call and we’ll make sure your fam­ily is safe when swimming.

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