Chesterfield county offering free pool inspections

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield County Building Inspectors are now making house calls, hoping to spot potential dangers at backyard pools before they result in tragedy.

Statistics show that most accidental drownings occur right in the homeowner's backyard pool. Which is why after the recent drowning of a Chesterfield toddler, County officials are stepping up.

In this case, Inspectors are concerned that an improperly installed gate and latch may have led to two year old Donnell Williams death. They're now offering free pool inspections for the month of July and beyond.

"We're not interested in citing anyone or making an example out of anyone what we're interested in is improving safety of our residents around swimming pools," said Chesterfield County Building Inspections Director William Dupler.

A permit is absolutely necessary to have a pool of a certain size or depth. No exceptions. We met up with an inspector who says then the first line of defense starts at the fencing. The fence needs to be 48 inches high all the way around.

If you gate is not 54 inches you need to make sure you lock is in the inside, and that the gate swings out from the pool," said Chesterfield County Inspections Supervisor Jean Stanely.

Things Gina Bua has already thought of to keep her family and friends safe.

"We've put up multiple gates and multiple locks," pool owner, Gina Bua said.

Inspectors will also check electrical requirements and for alarms on home doors leading out the pool- all of which could potentially mean the difference between life and death.

"Where's the hesitation, there shouldn't be any. We're interested in having fun and enjoying the summertime but if it's not safe for children it's not a good thing," said Bua.

County Inspectors have put up this flyer in places where people can buy a pool. For more information or for a free pool inspection call the county at 748-1779.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.