Question as to whether pool alarms lower premises liability

A new law in Tennessee that requires pool owners there to install new alarms poses an interesting Melville personal injury question for those of us in Florida. The pool alarm is supposed to warn owners of the entrance of very young swimmers into the water. Though the idea behind the law is positive, homeowners and pool installers question whether the effort will prevent children from drowning.

The new mandatory law took effect in January and requires owners of new pools, hot tubs and non-portable spas to include alarms. The pool alarms activate when an object that is 15 pounds or heavier goes into the water. The price of the alarms are between $250 to $275. One pool seller and installer believed that the cost of the alarm would not be a deterrent to purchasers of new pools. The alarms were on the shelves of many swimming pool businesses before the new mandatory pool alarm law took effect but the alarms were not top sellers.

One pool shop owner questions how much of a difference the alarms will make. The pool shop owner believes that the alarms will give pool owners a false sense of security and does not support their use. Another swimming pool business owner says the alarm is positive in that it increases safety awareness but questions the effectiveness of the law because it has many exemptions. For example, one exemption is that blow-up pools are not subject to the mandatory requirement. The swimming pool business owner believes the law should be universal in order to be effective.

Even state legislators that voted on the law disagree on how effective the law will be. One State Representative said he believed the law was a knee-jerk reaction to an isolated situation and one State Senator said that he voted for the law because it promoted safety despite his concerns about cost.

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