Preventing Drain Entrapments

Drain entrapments are frequently the result of an adult or child’s body, limbs, hair or clothing becoming entangled with a faulty drain. The best defense against entrapment is to prevent it before it can happen by being watchful in and around a pool or spa.

Safety Issues imageCPSC recommends that parents and families be aware of the simple steps they can take to save lives in and around a pool or spa. These important water safety practices below are aimed at specifically reducing the hazard of drain entrapments and entanglements:

  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments and entanglements
  • Make sure that loose items such as long hair, clothing or jewelry are not dangling when swimming in a pool or sitting in a spa
  • Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask if you do not know
  • Consider installing a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS)—a device that will automatically shut off a pump if a blockage is detected—or any other automatic shut-off systems in your own pool or spa
  • Plainly mark the location of the electrical cut-off switch for the pool or spa pump
  • Know where the pool or spa pump switch is and know how to turn it off

If someone becomes entrapped, employ these critical water safety steps:

  • Turn off the pump immediately
  • Instead of trying to pull the person away from the powerful suction of the drain or grate, insert fingers or a small object between the drain and the person’s body to break the seal and then roll them off until they’re free
  • Have a portable telephone close by to call for help
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

Read CPSC’s 2013 report on entrapment injuries

 

 

 

Who is Virginia Graeme Baker?

Seven-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker’s tragic death inspired her family to advocate for pool and spa safety and moved Congress to act to prevent entrapments. 
Read more about her story
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The Pool and Spa Safety Act: Staff interpretation and updates

 

Find the most up to date requirements for the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.