Pools Safety Tips and Regulations in WNY

Recent drownings are bringing back some painful memories for a Western New York family who also lost a child to a pool drowning.

A darkness falls over this holiday weekend knowing that a three-year-old girl died Friday in Lancaster after family members pulled her and her brother from a backyard pool.

This follows the drowning of a toddler in an Akron backyard pool on Thursday.

It's something that the Scalzi family can relate to after losing their two-year-old eight years ago. Michael Scalzi said, "My heart goes out to the parents and I know how devastating this is and this happened to us back in 2006 to my daughter. I know how the family is feeling right now and my thoughts and prayers are with them."

Michelle and Michael Scalzi's daughter wandered into the backyard and fell into the in-ground swimming pool. Now they advocate for pool safety after successfully lobbying state leaders to make pool alarms mandatory for all brand new swimming pools sold in the state. The alarm is motion-activated, detecting a disturbance in the water caused by anything that falls in over 15 pounds.

The state mandates regulations for safety, fences and barriers. Pool codes can vary from each municipality.

Any business selling a swimming pool is supposed to inform the consumer in writing at the time of purchase that they are supposed to get a permit and provide a barrier of access to it. Gary Pools and Leisure explains the safest pool will be layered by protection. Those layers include a swimming pool alarm, a gate or ladder that can be locked to limit access, and also adult supervision.

They also recommend installing safety fencing -- a removable fence that can be installed around the pool.

\With another tragedy, it's a reminder of how quickly things can change. "I will be the first to tell you, it takes 30 seconds for this to happen," Scalzi said. "Don't take your eyes off the kids. Kids are kids, and swimming pools are fun, but they are also very dangerous."


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