Date: June 29, 2011
As the sun beats down, temperatures soar and the school year ends, refreshing dips in the pool are on the way. On cool summer evenings, the light hum of a hot tub or whirlpool can also be equally inviting.
But sadly, each year many water related accidents are reported in North America. Preliminary figures show that 404 Canadians died in water-related incidents1 last year. And, in 2007, there were 3,443 fatal drownings (non-boating related) in the U.S.2
In light of the hazards and accidents associated with water activities, CSA wants to help make sure you and your family keep the following safety tips afloat in your mind.
- Sound the Alarm: A pool alarm sounds when it detects an object breaking the surface of the pool water. These should be used in combination with self-closing, self-latching gates for maximum safety.
- Lock it Up: Barriers, like four-sided pool fences, should be used to help prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without a caregiver or designated supervisor knowing.
- Cover the Basics: Ensure your pool, hot tub and whirlpool have anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur. Covers should be certified by an accredited testing and certification organization.
- Tie it back: Long hair and loose clothing are easy catches for powerful drains and pumps. Poorly-designed, non-functioning, defective or broken drain covers must be replaced. The vacuum force from pool, hot tub and whirlpool drains are powerful enough to hold swimmers under water causing drownings, or can lead to significant injuries.
- Keep Off: Similar to long hair and loose clothing, body parts such as fingers and toes near or over drain covers are easy targets. The suction from drains can render even the most adept swimmers helpless. Submersion in water for even just a minute can cause serious damage.
- Keep Afloat: Not everyone can or knows how to swim. When someone cannot swim safely on their own, make sure that the appropriate life jacket, water wings and other safety flotation device is worn.
- Soft Steps: Soft pool covers can increase the risk of drowning if a child steps onto the cover, slips underneath it and becomes trapped. Children can also drown in water that has collected on top of pool covers.
- Hard Tops: If you use a pool or spa cover, follow all instructions for their safe installation, use and maintenance. Always remove a cover completely before using the pool, and do not let standing water remain on top; pump it off.
- Drain Unused Water from in and Around Playspaces: The CSA Standard for Children’s Playspaces and Equipment outlines the need for equipment to drain effectively so that water is not trapped or collected – forming a pool. Standing water creates a drowning hazard and can become a breeding ground for bacteria creating an additional public health related concern. Any broken or damaged splash pad equipment requires immediate attention to avoid an injury or drowning risk.
- Certification Check: Ensure that all electrical pool parts (lights, pumps, heaters, etc.) are properly certified by an organization like CSA. Hot tubs and whirlpools should also be certified.
For more everyday consumer tips and safety advice, please visitwww.csasafetytips.com
About CSA International
CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA International certification marks appear on billions of products worldwide. CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA Standards, a leading solutions based standards organization, providing standards development, application products, training and advisory services; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information, visit www.csa-international.org
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Manager, Corporate Affairs