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California law as of 1/1/18 requires inspectors to make sure there's barriers to prevent kids from falling into pools. CREIA has modified their exterior section of their SOP to include item 6 in the "to be inspected" section and item 4 in the "not required to section."

Revised section:

2. Exterior

A. Items to be inspected:

1. Surface grade directly adjacent to the buildings
2. Doors and windows
3. Attached decks, porches, patios, balconies, stairways, and their enclosures, handrails and guardrails.
4. Wall cladding and trim
5. Portions of walkways and driveways that are adjacent to the buildings
6. Pool or spa drowning prevention features, for the sole purpose of identifying which, if any, are present.

B. The inspector is not required to:

1. Inspect door or window screens, shutters, awnings, or security bars
2. Inspect fences or gates or operate automated door or gate openers or their safety devices
3. Use a ladder to inspect systems or components
4. Determine if any manufacturers' design standards or testing is met or if any drowning prevention safety feature of a pool or spa is installed properly or is adequate or effective. Test or operate any drowning prevention safety feature.

I talked to Mike Casey today, one of THE experts on pool inspections and former ASHI National President,

Mike has included the following in his report:

Inspectors in CA now have to look for the pool/spa barriers and report which are present regardless of whether or not we are contracted to inspect the pool and equipment.

Most inspectors have done this anyway. So when not contracted to inspect the pool the inspector needs to be clear that the barrier(s) presence only is reported, not the vessel, piping or equipment and the barrier(s) is not inspected for condition or performance.

If a pool and or spa (outdoor) are present the inspector will report only the presence of one or more of the below barrier systems. The inspector does not verify any testing agency listing or approvals, effectiveness, adequacy, compliance with local or other regulations or for proper installation or function. The inspector only reports presence of any of the below. Below is a list of the systems from the California Health and Safety Code section 115922. It is the pool owner responsibility to research proper barrier systems and maintain the system(s). For more information contact a pool/spa specialist, we also recommend you study this document: www.poolsafely.gov/wp-content/uploads/20...delines-Pub-2017.pdf and visit this website: www.poolsafely.gov/

(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.

(2) Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.

(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.

(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”

(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.

(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.

(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

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Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro Home Inspection Software - CEO


Hi Dominic,

I've already created a template based on all 7 requirements (items) as outlined in the new regulation. It still needs fine tuning, but at least I have something in place.

Thanks for the update,

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