Is It a Crime to Fail to Comply with the Florida Residential Swimming Pool Laws?

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Florida is home to more pools than any other state in the United States. As such, it is not surprising that many children suffer accidental deaths every year in Florida as a result of drowning in a swimming pool.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, there are approximately 1,900 swimming pool-related drowning deaths in the United States every year. Of this number, 300 children are under the age of five years. Although some accidental drowning does occur at public pools, the majority of these fatalities occur at residential pools. In response to the large number of drowning deaths for children, the Florida Legislature passed Florida Statute §515.27, the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Feature Options; Penalties.

This statute requires a residential swimming pool to meet one of the following safety features before it can pass final inspection and receive a certification of completion: (a) The pool must be separated from the home by an enclosure that meets the requirements of §515.29; (b) The pool must have an approved safety cover; (b) All house windows and doors having direct access to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm with a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet; or (d) All house doors providing direct access to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor. Failure by a person to meet one of the above safety features could result in a Florida criminal misdemeanor charge the second degree. However, no penalty will result if the person equipped their pool with at least one safety feature within 45 days after the arrest or summons, and that person also attended a drowning prevention education program established by §515.31.

For more information see, Florida Statute §515.27, the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Feature Options; Penalties.