Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Drain danger remains a problem in many residential pools

During the dog days of summer, children here in Pittsburgh and throughout the nation flock to area pools where they can play with friends, soak up the sun and, of course, beat the heat. While most of these children are either too young or too preoccupied with frolicking in the water to appreciate it, these public swimming pools have actually become significantly safer over the last five years.

That's because a new federal law went into effect back in 2008 mandating that all public pools install new dome-shaped safety drain covers designed to prevent entrapment-related accidents and fatalities.

Pool drains -- particularly those covered by old-style metal covers -- generate a very powerful suction that can trap both children and adults alike to the bottom of the pool. This suction becomes all the more powerful if the drain cover happens to come loose, and an arm or hand is placed inside the drainpipe.

While there have been no reports of drain-related accidents in public pools since the federal law went into effect, drain-related accidents continue to be a serious problem in residential pools. Indeed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has determined that at least 39 people have been injured or killed in pool drain accidents since 2008.

Just this week, the young son of R&B singer Usher nearly lost his life after getting stuck in the drain located in his father's pool. Fortunately, the child's caretakers were able to free him in time and he is expected to make a full recovery.

According to safety experts, accidents like these should reinforce the importance of safety drain covers to all residential pool owners. They point out that the covers cost roughly $100 to install and don't require the pool to be drained. (Although they should be checked seasonally to ensure they are working properly.)

Safety experts also recommend that all residential pool owners familiarize themselves with the location of the shut-off switch for the pool pump, so they can cut the suction in the event of an emergency.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a swimming pool accident, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about how you can secure the justice you deserve.

Source: WFAA, "New focus on pool drain danger," Monika Diaz, August 7, 2013; NBC News, "Pool drains pose serious risks," August 7, 2013 

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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