That hidden danger could be unsafe drain covers in pools and spas. Why are pool and spa drains so dangerous? Because if the drain cover is flat, any object or body part that covers that drain can become trapped by a powerful suction from which escape is difficult, and sometimes impossible. Luckily, the Pool and Spa Safety Act, also known as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, was signed into law in 2007. This law requires that every public pool and spa in the U.S. be “equipped with anti-entrapment devices or systems that comply with the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard.” Flat pool drains are assumed to be a thing of the past in public pools and spas. The law does not apply, however, to residential pools and spas, and, unfortunately, this is where a majority of entrapment injuries and deaths occur.
Anti-entrapment drain covers for residential pools and spas are readily available and easy to install. The difference is in the design. Anti-entrapment drain covers are not flat, but domed, or shaped in some way that prevents objects or bodies from completely covering the drain and creating a dangerous suction. They offer an inexpensive and simple solution to a serious and sometimes deadly problem.