Town joins forces with “End Drowning Now” for Water Safety Campaign

Heading into Memorial Day weekend, Supervisor Ed Romaine (right) marked the unofficial start of the summer season by urging residents who own pools or hot tubs to take proper safety measures now to help prevent a water-related tragedy from occurring. The Supervisor was joined by Councilman Dan Panico (left), and Bobby Hazen (center), founder of End Drowning Now.

“Now is the time for homeowners to make sure they are compliant with all the safety requirements for pools and hot tubs,” said Supervisor Romaine. “Every summer, we hear the news about children drowning and the truth is that most of them could be prevented if the proper safety measures were taken. The goal here is to save lives and help families avoid a tragedy in their own back yards.”

Councilman Panico said, “A code compliant, self-latching fence and pool alarm are not substitutes for direct supervision by a sober adult. Always designate a non-drinking adult to be in charge. All it takes is a moment for a child to fall into the water, where you can no longer hear or see them.”

Mr. Hazen provided these very important guidelines to follow:

Watch your children around any water… No Distractions!

Teach kids how to swim early

Know or learn CPR

Educate yourself about being safer in, on, or near water.

Wear life jackets when on a boat

Install isolation fencing with self-closing, self -locking gates

Treat quick set up pools and above ground pools like an in-ground pool, remove and lock ladders when not in use.

The Supervisor urges homeowners to inspect their pool and hot tub areas now and correct any violations that currently exist before the summer begins. He also noted that Brookhaven Town Law and Building Department officials will respond to any complaints about potential violations in the neighborhood. “An unsafe pool or hot tub is a threat to every family that lives nearby, so it’s important that people are aware of the danger and report it immediately to the Town,” said Supervisor Romaine.

In 2009, then Suffolk County Legislator Romaine sponsored a resolution requiring retailers of swimming pools to post signs regarding State pool alarm laws.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is still the leading cause of death and injury among children under 5 years old and the second leading cause for children up to 14 years old.

The Town of Brookhaven and New York State building codes include very specific rules and regulations regarding swimming pool and hot tub safety such as pool alarms, secure fencing, anti-entrapment devices, self-closing and self-latching gates. These are not merely suggestions; they are required by everyone who has an above ground or in-ground pool, or hot tub.

A detailed summary of pool and hot tub safety requirements can be found at the New York State Department of State website at www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/pools.htm.

For more information about drowning prevention, visit the www.EndDrowningNow.com. If any resident knows of a backyard pool or hot tub that is not in compliance with Town codes, call 631-451-TOWN (8696). The Town will take immediate action against violators and keep identities of callers confidential. Visit www.brookhavenny.org for more information about pool safety compliance.

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