*Red font in the legislation and regulation indicates changes from previous reporting

MASSACHUSETTS – POOL/SPA ALARMS

Issue:  HB 1303 POOL/SPA ALARMS (Formerly HD482)

Affects:  Those who build or alter residential swimming pools.

Send comments to:  Jennifer Hatfield, jhatfield@apsp.org

Bill Summary:  This measure defines a pool alarm as a device which meets and is independently certified to the ASTM Standard F 2208 Standards Specification for Pool Alarms which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. Pool alarms shall not include swimming protection alarm devices designed for individual use, such as an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water.

This measure defines a swimming pool as any structure that contains water over 24 inches in depth and which is used, or intended to be used, for swimming or recreational bathing located indoors or outdoors and which is available only to the family and guests of a residential household, including in-ground, above-ground and on-ground swimming pools, hot tubs and spas.

No building permit shall be issued for the construction or substantial alteration of a swimming pool at a residence occupied by, or being built for, one or more families unless a pool alarm is installed with the private swimming pool. No swimming pool shall be used for swimming or recreational bathing unless a pool alarm is installed with the swimming pool by the owner of the residence. Every swimming pool shall be inspected annually by the inspector of buildings of each city and town in which said pool is located for the presence of an operating pool alarm. Each owner or tenant of every residence required to have a pool alarm in accordance with this section who fails to comply with this section regarding pool alarms shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 for each offense.

It appears this bill would not be consistent with the ISPSC or APSP barrier standards in that it is requiring an alarm for the pool or spa (including portable spa) itself that is in addition to or separate from any other barrier requirements such as fences, covers, alarms on windows and doors, etc. Therefore, for example, a portable spa would have to have the lockable cover but also one of these alarms.

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health and Homeland Security January 23, 2017. Hearing held May 16.  Referred to study on July 18, 2018, meaning very unlikely further action will occur on this bill. 

View proposed legislation:  https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1303.pdf