The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced a voluntary entrapment hazard. Pool owners and operators with a recalled cover are instructed to contact the manufacturer to receive a replacement or retrofit, depending on the make and model.
USA Today reports that CPSC chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum urged public pools with recalled covers to close immediately until they can be replaced. "I know this is a very difficult message for many communities to hear so close to Memorial Day weekend, but we cannot risk a child becoming entrapped in a recalled drain cover," Tenenbaum said in a speech at a pool safety event Thursday in Chula Vista, Calif.
The manufacturers of the recalled drain covers are: A&A Manufacturing of Phoenix; AquaStar Pool Products of San Diego; Color Match Pool Fittings of Surprise, Ariz.; Custom Molded Products of Tyrone, Ga.; Hayward Pool Products of Elizabeth, N.J.; Pentair Water Pool and Spa of Sanford N.C.; Rising Dragon USA of Sweetwater, Tenn.; and Waterway Plastics of Oxnard, Calif.
According to USA Today, the recall is the result of months of investigation in which the CPSC subpoenaed 17,000 pages of documents from testing laboratories, which the agency says used bad standards in testing the drain covers.
Meanwhile, the CPSC kicked off the 2011 summer swimming season and the second year of its "Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives" campaign to prevent drowning, submersion and entrapment on Thursday by releasing new statistics that indicated there were no entrapment fatalities reported in 2010. But 55 drowning and 63 near-drowning incidents in 29 states and territories have already been reported by the media during the first five months of 2011. "Chairman Tenenbaum's announcement that there have been no entrapment fatalities since 2009 is encouraging," National Swimming Pool Foundation chief executive officer Tom Lachocki said in a statement. "Hundreds of child drowning tragedies reinforce the importance of drowning prevention strategies, including learn-to-swim programs."
Lachocki also stressed that many pool drains are not impacted by this recall. The CPSC indicates that pools with multiple drains per pump, gravity drainage systems and drain covers installed before December 19, 2008, need not be replaced (with the exception of those on kiddie pools, wading pools and in-ground spas).
For more details about the drain cover recall, call 866/478-3521, or click here.