Florida State Senator Ed Hooper recently filed a new bill that would require stricter safety measures at pools throughout the state.
The bill (SB 124) is named the Kacen’s Cause Act after Kacen Howard, a young boy who drowned in his family’s pool just before his third birthday in 2017. His mother Brittany became an advocate for increased pool safety requirements after his death.
Hooper also sponsored similar legislation in 2020 but the bill did not make it out of committee.
Under this newly proposed legislation, current Florida laws would be changed to ensure that all pools have at least two safety measures in place. Currently only one of those safety measures is required.
Some of the specifications for safety include having a four-foot mesh fence or enclosure around a self-closing, self-latching gate that swings outward. The fence must be separate from any other enclosure, wall or fence that surrounds the yard. Other safety options include requirements that all windows and doors that have direct access to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm, or that they have self-closing, self-latching devices with the release mechanism at a certain height.
The idea of requiring a second code is that it would provide a failsafe in case one of those precautions fails, adding another layer of protection for children like Kacen. With Kacen, the pool had aa fence but it was too weak and did not prevent him from falling into the water and drowning.
For more information about swimming pool regulations in the state and the steps you can take if you or a loved one have been injured in a pool, contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.