What is the VGB Act, and why is it so important?
As a pool or spa owner you have a responsibility to stay educated about pool safety. Did you know that there are about 3500 fatal drownings in the U.S. every year, and 75% of those are children in pools at private residences? According to industry reports drowning is the leading cause of death in children under the age of four, and 50% of those that survive often suffer permanent brain damage or require other medical attention.
The VGB (Virginia Graeme Baker) Act is named after a seven-year-old girl who became stuck in the drain of a hot tub and could not pull herself free. She was on a swim and diving team—a very strong swimmer. However, after her mother’s unsuccessful attempts, it took two men to pull Virginia free which broke the drain cover from the suction force. Unfortunately, Virginia did not survive the tragedy of this suction entrapment and faulty drain cover. After this incident the VGB Act was passed by Congress thanks to the perseverance of Mrs. Baker (Virginia’s mother), her family and the organization Safe Kids Worldwide. With these regulations for drain covers and other safety devices under the VGB Act pools are safer.
Recognizing what is safe.
Your drains should be curved and have smaller openings. Neither hair nor body parts should be able to become blocked or trapped. Unsafe covers are flat and often create a strong circulation. You should always be aware of where you and your family swim. Check to make sure anti-entrapment drain covers are used before getting into the water. Teach your children to stay away from drains and filters and help them understand the risks and pool safety.
What else can I do to stay safe?
It is vital that you have a swimming pool professional inspect your pool or spa that is certified and licensed. Watercrafters pride ourselves with maintaining our team members’ education year-round and providing you with service from our technicians who are PHTA and NSPF certified. Additionally, always think safe around water—be alerted to noticing any broken, missing or loose covers and making sure you have an ASME/ANSI A11. 19.8-2007 compliant drain covers with an additional anti-entrapment system. If you are unsure, please call us today—your safety is our priority.