Who was Virginia Graeme-Baker? The seven- year- old daughter of James Baker, son of former Secretary of State James Baker III. In early summer of 2002, Graeme become stuck in a faulty spa drain. The force of the suction was so great, it took two men to pull Graeme free. After her death, her mother Kathy Baker joined forced with Safe Kids USA and lobbied Congress in support for new anti-entrapment drain covers. Supported by US Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz of Florida, the statute was signed into law in December of 2007.
When did this law sign into effect? On December 19th, 2007
Who enforces this law? The Consumer Product Safety Commision. To carry out the requirements of the VGB act, the CPSC launched Pool Safely: Simple Steps Saves Lives,an national campaign to raise public awareness of entrapment prevention and drowning.
By December 2008, all pool and spa drain covers must be in compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8-2007 standards. A complete list of drain cover manufactures can be found here.
On March 1st, 2010, the CPSC decided on the implementation, administration and enforcement of the act.
What is this law intended to do?
- Enhance the safety of public and private pools and spas.
- Reduce the number of suction entrapment injuries or deaths.
- Reduce child drownings in pool & spas
- Encourage multiple safety steps
- Educate the public on the importance of constant supervision of children in and around water.
How does this act affect you? The VGB Act applies to all public pools,including hotel pools, community pools, apartment buildings, condominium complexes and multi-family residentail complexes.
It also applies to pools and spas of health clubs, resorts and government pool facilities. It does not cover water fountains, therapy pools or baptismal pools.
The next time you visit a hotel resort, the local gym or the pool at your friends apartment complex, don’t hesitate to find out whether the pool has been brought up to VGB compliance. A few moments of prevention can save a lifetime of heartache.