In The News: August 2003

Poll Finds Many Americans Unaware Of Drowning Dangers

A national poll conducted by Harris Interactive, Rochester, N.Y., for Terrapin Communications, Los Angeles, has found only 19 percent of Americans are aware that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children under the age of five.

Bob Lyons, president of Terrapin Communications, which manufactures the Safety Turtle, a personal immersion alarm, says between 350 and 400 children drown in swimming pools each year. Another 3,000 children are involved in near-drowning accidents. About 1,500 of these children suffer permanent brain damage.

Lyons believes there is reluctance among dealers to discuss this issue, as many believe it doesn't relate to them.

Dealers may fear that other customers who may be considering buying a pool could perhaps change their minds if they hear this information.

However, he does believe that awareness is increasing. "It's much better than it would have been had the study been conducted a few years ago," he says.

The poll was administered to 2,023 U.S. adults in May via the Internet and Harris Interactives' QuickQuery online omnibus, which surveys a subset of their multi-million member panel of cooperative respondents. Results indicate that 59 percent of American households with swimming pools have one or more layers of protection in addition to property fencing.

This includes a permanent fence fully surrounding the pool with a self-closing gate, a door or gate alarm, or a pool alarm.

"This still leaves 41 percent of pool owners either unaware of what they should be doing to protect children or not taking the threat seriously enough," Lyons says.

"I was pleasantly surprised with the 59 percent," he continues. "We're headed in the right direction."

The National Spa & Pool Institute, Alexandria, Va., suggests "that all pools and spas should be protected.

Owners should always check, and comply with, state and local codes or ordinances requiring fences or other barriers."

NSPI Publishes Updated Standard

The National Spa & Pool Institute, Alexandria, Va., has published an update to its 1999 ANSI/NSPI-4 Standard for Above-ground/On-ground Residential Swimming Pools.

The one-page update adds a provision requiring that ladder manufacturers provide a means to inhibit child entrapment. The new requirement goes into effect Dec. 31, 2004.

According to NSPI, the objective of this standard is to provide recommended minimum guidelines for the design, equipment, installation and use of above-ground/on-ground residential swimming pools. It is also intended to assist local jurisdictions and other regulatory bodies, where necessary, in the development and promulgation of above-ground/on-ground swimming pool criteria.

This standard was prepared by the Above-ground/On-ground Pool Writing Committee and the Technical Committee of NSPI, in accordance with the American National Standards Institute.

NSPI is distributing the update without cost to anyone who purchases a copy of the NSPI-4 standard.

This standard costs NSPI members $20 and non-members $50.

To order the standard, call NSPI Member Services at 703/838-0083, ext. 301.

For more information, contact Jeanette Smith at [email protected].

Hayward Recalls Pool Heaters

Hayward Pool Products, Elizabeth, N.J., has recalled its H-series ED2 pool heaters after discovering a program error in the ignition software.

In some cases, this error delays ignition of gas, which might create a fire or an explosion in the housing of the heater, the company says. Although no injuries have been reported to the company or the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there is a possibility of injury or property damage if a faulty heater is used.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the heater's circuit board, which was supplied by an outside vendor, contains a software program flaw that can fail to shut off gas flow if a flame is not ignited.

Customers should discontinue using the H-series ED2 heater immediately and contact Hayward at 888/429-9273 to schedule an on-site appointment, or have the heating unit replaced by an authorized service representative.

Training Schedule Announced

Jandy, Petaluma, Calif., has announced its 2003-2004 Service School Training Schedule. Instruction focuses on Jandy valves and electronics, as well as Laars heaters.

The Service Schools offer training by national technical trainers with experience in product installation, service, repair and troubleshooting.

The electronics class features topics on AquaLink RS controls, Jandy valves, Jandy valve actuators and new products. The heaters class includes installation and operation tips for Laars heaters, new digital temperature controls, component identification and function, and introduction to new products including the Lite2 LJ.

Both classes feature slide show presentations and hands-on simulators to practice troubleshooting heaters and electronics. Classes are NSPI- and Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board approved.

Students who participate will receive workbooks, technical binders, free diagnostic tools, laminated troubleshooting guides and completion certificates, the company says.

To obtain a registration form or view the class schedule online, visit

Suncoast Awarded Best Buy

The June 2003 issue of Consumers Digest recognized Suncoast Furniture's Orleans Sling Collection by naming the collection a "Best Buy in Outdoor Furniture."

The traditionally designed extruded-aluminum Orleans collection was introduced this year by the Fort Meyers, Fla.-based company.

Paragon Award Winners Announced

The International Swimming Hall of Fame recently awarded its annual Paragon Awards for outstanding contributions to the industry through competitive swimming, water polo, competitive diving, aquatic safety, synchronized swimming and recreational swimming.

Paragon Aquatics, LaGrangeville, N.Y., and the International Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., both sponsors of the event, announced the six winners during an Inductee Weekend in May.

All of the 2003 honorees were selected from nominations made by major national governing bodies and approximately 160 selected professionals. The committee receives and considers the nominations by carefully reviewing all aspects of the nominees careers. A balloting process is used to finalize the list, which must then be presented to the ISHOF Board of Directors for approval.

Paragon Aquatics has sponsored the awards for eight years. This year, the company was also the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Recreational Swimming award.They other winners are as follows:

  • Water polo: Richard L. McCoy, president of Mikasa Sports USA
  • Synchronized swimming: Sue Ahlf, coach, promoter, administrator
  • Swimming: Peter Hugo, president of National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association
  • Diving: Jeff Cook, president of Amateur Swimming Association of Great Britian
  • Aquatic safety: Suity Cureton, Commodore (1993-1997), Commodore Longfellow Society, 1993-1997.
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