TAVARES – As residents look to cool-off during the warmer weather, Lake County Building Services is asking residents to ensure that the construction of their pool is done according to Florida building code, and that routine pool maintenance is a part of their pool safety practices.
“Although it’s important to make sure that everyone knows how to swim and perform CPR, safety measures begin at construction or installation of a pool,” said Joann Sala, licensing investigator with Lake County Building Services. “Faulty pool construction and maintenance can lead to frequent future repairs, bodily injury and even death.”
Any swimming pool or spa with more than 24 inches of water has necessary safety requirements set by the state of Florida. This includes temporary above-ground and on-ground pools – like large inflatable pools.
Pool construction problems may include defective wiring, incorrectly installed heaters and non-compliant drain covers, which can lead to entrapment. One way to improve pool safety is to only hire licensed contractors to construct, repair and service pools.
Some other things to keep in mind when considering a pool include:
• Swimming pools need to have a barrier of at least 48 inches completely surrounding the pool.
• For pools that require hook-ups for electricity and plumbing, licensed and insured contractors should always be used.
• For above-ground and on-ground pools, the steps or ladder should be designed to be secured, locked or removed to prevent access.
• Pool gates must be self-latching and be at least 54 inches from the bottom of the gate.
It is important to verify professional licenses before hiring a contractor or signing a contract to avoid becoming a victim of an unlicensed activity scam.
Lake County Building Services offers an online contractor search available at: www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/growth_management/building_services/contractor_certification/contractor_tracking.aspx.
Citizens may also call 352-343-9653 for more information.
For a complete list of all regulations set by Florida Building Codes, or for more information about pool safety regulations and permitting requirements, contact the Lake County Building Services Division at 352-343-9647, log on to https://www.lakecountyfl.gov/departments/growth_management/building_services/permitting/pool_and_spa_permit.aspx, or stop by the office at 315 W. Main St., Tavares.