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Senate bill to require more safety features at swimming pools

Posted at 11:18 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 07:10:45-05

FORT MYERS ,Fla -- Blake Howard recently moved his family to a new neighborhood in Fort Myers and the first thing he did was get a fence installed around their pool.

“It brings that piece of mind,” said Howard. “It’s just the extra security barrier.”

They also have door alarms as an extra precaution.

“We have two girls. They are four and six and they are everything to us,” said Howard.

With kid safety in mind, a new proposed state law would require homeowners to add more safety measures, like Howard family.

Currently, homeowners in Florida are required to have one of five safety features around their pool, which includes fencing, pool covers, door alarms, gates or motion alarms.

However, the new bill would require at least two safety measures.

“Multiple layers of protection are the solution,” said Jessica Cooper May. She’s the president of Life Saver Pool Fence. She’s all for the new bill.

However, if this bill passes and you plan to build a new pool or sell your home with a pool in 2020, you may have to pay for more safety measures.

“These pool fences, pool gates, pool alarms, it’s an added expense for homeowners, but saving a child’s life is in valuable and priceless,” said May.

Florida sees more drowning deaths of kids ages 1 to 4 years old then any other state in the nation.

So far this year, five children have drowned in Southwest Florida.

“Any parent who has suffered one of these water accidents would do anything to go back in time and add more layers of protection for their children,” said May.

Senator Ed Hooper sponsored the new bill. If passed, the law would go into effect October of next year.

For parents like Blake Howard, his little girls make it worth taking the extra precautions right now.