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Home > State Guidelines > 1/1/2018 NEW REQUIREMENTS: Changes to California SOP- Pool and Spa safety

Changes in the CA:

I asked Joseph W. Denneler our resident expert on all things regulatory and this is what he had to say about the CA changes:

Yes I have. They’re burning up the phone lines.

There is a direct reference in the preamble to how the Bill affects home inspections. It provides: “Existing law defines terms related to paid home inspections in connection with the transfer of real property, establishes a standard of care for home inspectors, and prohibits certain inspections in which the inspector or the inspector’s employer, as specified, has a financial interest. This bill would, as part of the definition of home inspection for the transfer of real property, specify that an appropriate inspection of real property with a swimming pool or spa would include noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa and dwelling for the purpose of identifying which, if any, of the 7 specified drowning prevention safety features the pool or spa is equipped. The bill would also require that the information be included in the home inspection report, as specified”

They are amending the provisions of the California Business and Professions Code, §7195-7199 relating to home inspections by adding the following related to the scope of a home inspection:

“2) In connection with the transfer, as defined in subdivision (e), of real property with a swimming pool or spa, an appropriate inspection shall include a noninvasive physical examination of the pool or spa and dwelling for the purpose of identifying which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision (a) of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped.”

They are also amending the definition of a home inspection report as follows:

“(c) A “home inspection report” is a written report prepared for a fee and issued after a home inspection. The report clearly describes and identifies the inspected systems, structures, or components of the dwelling, any material defects identified, and any recommendations regarding the conditions observed or recommendations for evaluation by appropriate persons. In a dwelling with a pool or spa, the report shall identify which, if any, of the seven drowning prevention safety features listed in subdivision (a) of Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code the pool or spa is equipped with and shall specifically state if the pool or spa has fewer than two of the listed drowning prevention safety features.”

The “seven drowning prevention safety features” are as follows:

“(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.

(2) Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.

(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.

(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”

(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.

(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard

F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.

(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).”

Based on my quick review, it appears that they are not adding a pool inspection, per se, as there is no addition of requirements related to function of the pool and its connected systems and components. Rather, you must determine which, if any, of the seven items above are present and specifically advise your client when less than two of the seven are present. Every pool must have at least two of those seven safety features or a detailed statement that it is lacking at least two. The bill doesn’t seem to address whether or not we have to test whether the seven safety systems present are functioning properly Based on the specific language of the bill I do not think that is the case, but I would prefer to consider that issue in more detail before giving an opinion.

Hope that helps.

Joe D.

Joseph W. Denneler, Esquire

SALMON, RICCHEZZA, SINGER & TURCHI, LLP

Tower Commons

123 Egg Harbor Road - Suite 406

Sewell, NJ 08080

(856) 842-0731 (direct)

(856) 354-8074 (main)

(856) 354-8075 (fax)

jdenneler@srstlaw.com

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