Pool drain safety

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - YMCA Aquatics Director Aidan Marshall knows that her campers love to play in the pool.  She says the cool water is the best to dodge the heat in these dog days of summer.

"It's the best place to cool off. It's the best place to learn to swim. It's the best place to hang out with your friends and all at the same time you get to enjoy yourself but what kid doesn't love the pool in the summer," said Marshall.

But underneath those cooling waves is a hidden danger. Drains at the bottom which can sometimes lead to a life-and-death struggle. Pool installer Tommy Russell knows much about it.

"That suction is pretty powerful if it's the only thing that's pulling on it," said Russell.

A study done by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that from 2008 to 2012. 39 people died or were seriously injured from a pool drain-related accident.

"Every drain should have a grate on it. And that is the main thing that people need to look for. If the drain is broken or come off then it needs to be replace or put back on," said Russell of the Russell Pool Company Inc.

In 2008 a federal law was passed that requires all public pools to have what's called an anti-entrapment drain cover. Marshall says each pool at the local YMCAs also have something called a "stingle switch".

"It monitors the vacuum suction of the drains so if something that is blocking our drain, it automatically shuts off the drain and then it will set off an alarm and we can see what the issue is," said Marshall.

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