There is nothing more refreshing than taking a dip in a pool on a hot day. Most Hotels, Motels and Apartments have pools in order to attract new clients. Hotel, Motel and Apartment Pools are known as Semi-Public Pools.
About Semi-Public Pools
A semi-public pool is a swimming pool that is used in connection with a hotel, motel, trailer court, apartment house, condominium, country club, youth club, school, camp, or similar establishment where the primary purpose of the establishment is not to operate swimming facilities. Semi-public pools have some of their own rules.
Lifeguards are not required under state law at hotel, motel or apartment pools. However, every city and town in Massachusetts has the authority to pass laws that would require lifeguards at these semi-public pools. However, most cities and towns in Massachusetts do not require lifeguards at apartment, motel of hotel pools. If a motel pool does not require a lifeguard it is required by law to post warning signs that state “Warning – No Lifeguard on duty,” “Children under age 16 should not use swimming pool without an adult in attendance” and, “Adults should not swim alone.”
Defective Fences and Gates
Many hotel, apartment and motel pool accidents happen after hours due to poorly constructed or maintained fences and gates that are suppose to prevent people from gaining access to the pool area during off hours. All outdoor hotel, motel and apartment pools must be surrounded by a fence that is at-least 6 feet tall. The fence must be firmly secured to the ground so that people cannot get into the pool area by going underneath the fence. The fence must have a gate that is at least six feet above the ground. The gate must be self-latching with latches placed four feet above the ground or otherwise made inaccessible from the outside to children up to eight years of age.
Poorly Maintained Pools
Pool water can become cloudy if it is not cleaned regularly or properly. Cloudy or murky pool water can lead to several pool accidents: if a swimmer cannot see the bottom of the pool they may misjudge the pool depth which could lead to a disastrous diving accident resulting in brain or spinal cord injuries, a drowning victim who has floated to the bottom of a cloudy pool might go unnoticed for hours. Pool operators are required by law to keep a record that includes the amounts and types of chemicals used to clean and maintain the pool on a daily basis, the results of chemical and bacteriological tests, dates and times the pool is cleaned and the filters are backwashed.
Defective Pool Equipment
Many pools have poorly marked shallow ends and deep ends. Hotel, Motel and Apartment Complex owners must have the pool depths clearly marked on the pool deck at the edge of the pool and on the vertical pool walls, at or above the water surface. Also, at least one ladder is required for each 75 feet of swimming pool perimeter. Every pool needs at least two ladders regardless of size. Diving boards and platforms need to be covered with non-slip material;
Missing or defective pool drain covers pose a serious risk of drowning. The force of a drain on a residential pool has a weight of at least 500 pounds according to Pool Safety Council. The vacuum effect of these pool drains is strong enough to hold swimmers at the bottom of pools for extended periods of time. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission pool drain suction entrapment accidents caused at least 11 deaths between 1999 and 2008.
To address this drowning hazard congress passed the The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act in 2008. The purpose of the bill is to prevent spa and pool filter drain suction entrapment by requiring every hotel pool drain, motel pool drain to be covered by a large disc that prevents suction. Any business that fails to comply with this pool filter cover law faces stiff penalties if someone sustains injuries from an unprotected pool filter.
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