Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

Week 4 of Building Safety Month Raises Consumer Awareness About Backyard Safety

May 23, 2012

New 2012 ICC swimming pool and spa code enhances consumer safety

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Week Four of the International Code Council Foundation sponsored Building Safety Month focuses on educating consumers about backyard safety with an emphasis on swimming pool and barbecue grill safety.

As families move outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather, special precautions should be taken to ensure outdoor areas are safe from potential hazards, especially pools and barbecue grills.

Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children 14 or younger. Each year, grilling-related accidents send an estimated 20,000 people to emergency rooms and cause a reported $75 million in property damage.

The good news on the pool safety front is that the nation’s leading code and pool safety organizations have joined together and published the first comprehensive code to upgrade pool and spa safety, and meet the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Act. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC), published by the International Code Council, establishes minimum safety requirements for public and residential pools, spas and hot tubs. ISPSC was developed with input from a wide range of industry experts, including the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). The ISPSC ensure pools and spas are built safely. The code addresses fencing, decks, lighting, heaters, circulation systems, pumps, accessibility, sanitizing equipment, filters, and suction fittings, and includes provisions for water parks, diving barriers, general design and water quality safety.

The International Code Council Foundation and the National Fire Protection Association provide the following tips for pool and barbecue grill safety:

Pool Safety

  • Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
  • Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
  • Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
  • All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or gate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007 (Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act). Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings.
  • Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
  • Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.

Barbecue Grill Safety

  • Place the barbecue grill away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. It is also unsafe to use grills in a garage, porch or enclosed area that could trap carbon monoxide. Never grill on top of anything that can catch on fire.
  • When grilling, have a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or at least four gallons of water close by in case of a fire.
  • Keep children away from fires and grills. Establish a safety zone around the grill and instruct the children to remain outside of the zone. A chalk line works great for this purpose.
  • Never leave the grill unattended.

On May 1, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring May as National Building Safety Month. Building Safety Month is marked each year by more than 50,000 International Code Council members through official ceremonies, community outreach events, demonstration projects and school-based programs. Air Movement and Control Association International, Inc. (AMCA) is the presenting sponsor.

Learn more about Building Safety Month and download safety information, program suggestions and more at www.buildingsafetymonth.org.

About the International Code Council Foundation
The International Code Council Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote public awareness of ideas’ methods and technologies that encourage the construction of safe, durable and sustainable buildings and homes thus reducing the devastating effects of building damages due to natural disasters and other tragedies.

SOURCE International Code Council Foundation

Source: PR Newswire