Central Florida Business Works to Prevent Pool Entrapment Tragedies Like That Recently Striking R&B Singer Usher’s 5 Year Old Son

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"It is essential to inform yourself of the dangers surrounding pool/spa/whirlpool suction and make sure the facility you are using is properly fitted not only with an appropriate and functioning drain cover, but also an automatic pump shutoff device,” states Rex Cowan, Manager of local firm Play-It Safe Technologies.

The recent entrapment, and near drowning, of Usher's 5 year old son in the drain of his private pool, as referenced in a USA Today published on Wednesday, August 7 http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/08/07/usher-pool-drain-safety/2627189/ , serves to emphasize that it is essential to inform yourself of the dangers surrounding pool/spa/whirlpool suction. Although these incidents are considered to be “rare”, pool suction entrapments occur most every year across the United States and throughout the world. When they do occur these accidents often result in devastating tragedy. What's worse is that these incidents are easily avoidable.

As appears to have been the case in the Usher incident drain covers are sometimes broken, missing, or their fasteners fail. Consequently, it is essential for a secondary protective system to be in place to automatically shut off the source of suction (pool/spa pump) in the event of a drain blockage. Evidencing this point is the fact that the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (the “Act”) passed in 2007 requires such devices on most existing commercial pools. Unfortunately, many commercial facilities are ignoring the law [ See, eg.: Consumer Product Safety Commission 1991-2011 Report on Circulation Suction Entrapments Associated with Pools, Spas and Whirlpool Tubs, Table 1, P.2-- which Report reflects a substantial increase in such entrapment incidents between 2010 and 2011 http://www.cpsc.gov/PageFiles/108877/entrap12.pdf . Private pools, such as that involved in the Usher incident and equally as dangerous, are unfortunately not covered by the requirements of the Act.

Play-It-Safe was launched in 2009 by Cowan a Florida attorney, and Dr. L. Steven Beckham, designer of the Play-it-Safe anti-entrapment system for the purpose of developing an easy to install, and cost effective system to shut off the source of pool suction in the event of a drain cover failure. Play It Safe’s Automatic Pump Shutoff (“APS”) unit was certified in December 2011, and followed thereafter by other related safety products, says Cowan. The first step in protecting yourself and your family is learning the facts. You can find a complete selection of informative resources at: http://www.playitsafetech.com

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Rex Cowan
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Dr. L. Steven Beckham
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