British holiday makers need to be alert to the dangers that could lie in overseas swimming pools not built to British safety standards, a leading UK swimming pool supplier has warned. “While every hotel strives to offer its guests the ultimate, safe bathing experience, sadly, in the case of some other hotels, not all guests come away with pleasant memories, and some don’t even get to leave with their lives,” warns Amanda Slade, a company director at MSi.
“Incidents of pool entrapment are far more common than one might imagine, and multiple hotels around the world have experienced the horror of dealing with such tragedies. “The sad truth is that despite the headline-making stories of children being seriously injured, or drowned from pool entrapment, many overseas hotels with older pools have yet to make one relatively simple change that could prevent such tragedies,” Ms Slade adds.
Pool entrapment most commonly occurs when a bather comes into close contact with a single main drain in a pool or spa and is pulled onto it by the suction of the pump. It is usually children, who do not have the strength of an adult, and are therefore unable to break free from this suction, that are the victims. A recent experiment conducted in the USA revealed that it can take around 225Kg of weight to free an object trapped on a single drain.
In the UK, new pools are built to comply with BSEN 15288 and PWTAG standards, and have two drains fitted, which are arranged so that there is no risk of bathers becoming trapped. MSi recommends the Vac-Alert spring-loaded piston for all holiday pools; a low-maintenance safety system, that responds in milliseconds to an increase in pump suction created by an obstruction being held by suction on the main drain, freeing a trapped swimmer from a life-threatening situation. Once installed, the Vac-Alert system requires only periodic maintenance, and affords hotel and pool managers the peace of mind that their guests can bathe in their pools and spas without the fear of injury or even death.
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