Florida Statutes – Swimming Pools Archives
515.31 Drowning prevention education program; public information publication
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515.29 Residential swimming pool barrier requirements.–
(1) A residential swimming pool barrier must have all of the following characteristics:
(a) The barrier must be at least 4 feet high on the outside.
(b) The barrier may not have any gaps, openings, indentations, protrusions, or structural components that could allow a young child to crawl under, squeeze through, or climb over the barrier.
(c) The barrier must be placed around the perimeter of the pool and must be separate from any fence, wall, or other enclosure surrounding the yard unless the fence, wall, or other enclosure or portion thereof is situated on the perimeter of the pool, is being used as part of the barrier, and meets the barrier requirements of this section.
(d) The barrier must be placed sufficiently away from the water’s edge to prevent a young child or medically frail elderly person who may have managed to penetrate the barrier from immediately falling into the water.
(2) The structure of an aboveground swimming pool may be used as its barrier or the barrier for such a pool may be mounted on top of its structure; however, such structure or separately mounted barrier must meet all barrier requirements of this section. In addition, any ladder or steps that are the means of access to an aboveground pool must be capable of being secured, locked, or removed to prevent access or must be surrounded by a barrier that meets the requirements of this section.
(3) Gates that provide access to swimming pools must open outward away from the pool and be self-closing and equipped with a self-latching locking device, the release mechanism of which must be located on the pool side of the gate and so placed that it cannot be reached by a young child over the top or through any opening or gap.
(4) A wall of a dwelling may serve as part of the barrier if it does not contain any door or window that opens to provide access to the swimming pool.
(5) A barrier may not be located in a way that allows any permanent structure, equipment, or similar object to be used for climbing the barrier.
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Florida Barrier Law For Swimming Pool Contractors
At the time of signing a contract for a new swimming pool /spa, a pool contractor (home builder or home developer) is required to provide the customer with a copy of the law (Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act) and the approved drowning prevention publication (Consumer Product Safety Commission Publication #362).
Florida Department of Health regulations for distribution of safety material:
CHAPTER 64E-21 RESIDENTIAL SWIMMING POOLS
64E-21.001 Drowning Prevention Education/Public Information Publication.
(1) The educational program required in Section 515.31, F.S., shall be the 1995 American Red Cross Community Water Safety Course which is incorporated by reference and available at a cost from the American Red Cross Chapter located within any Florida County.
(2) Information on drowning prevention and responsibilities of pool ownership is contained in the 1994 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission publication Number 362, Safety Barrier Guidelines for Home Pools which is incorporated by reference and available at no charge from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207.
(3) In accordance with Section 515.33, F.S., the document containing the requirements of this chapter shall be Sections 515.21 through 515.37, F.S., 2000, which are incorporated by reference and available at a cost from the Law Book Services Office, Room 612, 111 West Madison Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1400.
See later post for more details…