2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Franks
AN ACT TO CREATE THE MISSISSIPPI POOL SAFETY ACT; TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS FOR SUCH ACT; TO PROVIDE THAT ALL RESIDENTIAL POOLS MUST BE COMPLETELY SURROUNDED BY A BARRIER MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS ACT; TO PROVIDE EXEMPTIONS TO THESE REQUIREMENTS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Mississippi Pool Safety Act."
SECTION 2. The following words and phrases shall have the meanings as defined in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Aquatic slide" means a recreational slide, abutting a swimming pool, which exits into the water of that pool.
(b) "Barrier" means a fence, dwelling wall, or nondwelling wall, or any combination thereof, which completely surrounds the swimming pool and obstructs access to the swimming pool, from the yard outside the barrier.
(c) "Enclosure" means a fence, wall, or other barrier that isolates a swimming pool from access from the yard outside the barrier.
(d) "Medically frail elderly person" means any person who is at least sixty-five (65) years of age and has a medical problem that affects balance, vision, or judgment, including, but not limited to, a heart condition, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease or any related disorder.
(e) "Residential" means situated on the premises of a detached one-family or two-family dwelling or a one-family townhouse not more than three (3) stories high.
(f) "Swimming pool" means any structure, located in a residential area, that is intended for swimming or recreational bathing and contains water over eighteen (18) inches deep. "Swimming pool" includes, but is not limited to, in-ground and aboveground structures and includes hot tubs, spas, portable spas and nonportable wading pools.
(g) "Young child" means any person under the age of six (6) years, for purposes of this section only.
SECTION 3. (1) All residential pools must be completely surrounded by a barrier meeting the requirements and characteristics of this section.
(2) A residential swimming pool barrier must have all of the following characteristics:
(a) The barrier must be at least four (4) feet high on the outside, with a maximum vertical clearance from the ground to the bottom of the enclosure of two (2) inches. Where the pool includes an aquatic slide measuring over six (6) feet in height, the barrier must be at least six (6) feet high.
(b) Any portion of the barrier, which does not constitute a portion of the residential dwelling itself, 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. Gaps or voids, if any, must not allow passage of a sphere equal to or greater than four (4) inches in diameter.
(c) 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.
(3) 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.
(4) Gates that provide access to swimming pools must 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. All gates located within six (6) feet of the pool’s edge must open outward from the 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.
SECTION 4. The requirements of this article shall not apply to any of the following:
(a) Public swimming pools.
(b) Hot tubs or spas with locking safety covers that comply with the American Society for Testing Materials-Emergency Performance Specification, ASTM-ES 13-89.
(c) Any pool within the jurisdiction of any political subdivision that adopts an ordinance for swimming pool safety that includes requirements that are at least as stringent as this article.
(d) An apartment complex.
SECTION 5. (1) In order to pass final inspection and receive a certificate of completion, a residential swimming pool must meet the requirements of this section.
(2) Any person or entity entering into an agreement to build a swimming pool shall give the consumer notice of the requirements of this section.
(3) The provisions of this section may be enforced by private action or any public entity of the county where the residence is located.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.