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Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act of 2007

The Problem

Suction in pools can cause drowning or injury by entrapping both children and adults underwater; sometimes including evisceration (removal of internal organs or bowels).

The Solution

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act of 2007 requires that all pools (including hot tubs and spas) with a single main drain must be equipped with a device or system designed to prevent entrapment (such as compliant drain covers and/or a safety vacuum release system).

What You Look for

For inspectors the most important thing to understand is that when inspecting a public pool or spa (HOAs, Spas, Motels, Hotels, etc.) it is crucial to know if the insured is in compliance with this Federal Regulation. Check to see if the insured's pool has a main drain. If so, does it meet current regulations and do they have paperwork to back up that claim. Are there damaged or missing drain covers or grates (if so, take a picture!)?

It is difficult to visually verify acceptable drains in pools that are filled so you have to rely on paperwork provided by the insured.

What You Report

If you are inspecting any property that has a pool, particularly a commercial property, you must fill the form correctly.

If the pool is not in compliance, document with whom you spoke and what information they were able to give you.

Just understand that this is a big deal: pools that are not compliant, whether public or private, present a significant exposure to loss.

Solutions to Meet the New Law's Requirements

This applies to Pools (Vinyl and Gunnite), Jetted Tubs, Hot Tubs, and Spas

Examples of Approved Drains

Good DrainGood DrainGood Drain

Examples of Unacceptable Drains

Bad DrainBad DrainBad Drain

Here is a document from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals to instruct manufacturers about the law. This is helpful in understanding what measures can be taken to meet Federal mandates. When asking the insured what devices they have installed, it is helpful to be familiar with the list. Be sure to note what devices the insured has in place in your report.


This information is a summary of the law and regulations. For the full text of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act of 2007 click here.

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