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ASTM Pool Alarm Specification Completed in Record Time to Advance Safety

ASTM PS 128, Provisional Specification for Pool Alarms, presents safety and performance requirements for increased reliability of these devices. Alarms meeting the ASTM standard sound at poolside and in adjacent buildings when a minimum weight of 18 lbs. hits the water. Acting on their May 2000 report that 350 pool drownings occur each year to children under five, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requested that alarm manufacturers, testing, and safety specialists in ASTM Subcommittee F15.49 on Pool Alarms for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs develop a safety specification.

They did, in record time—eight months and 19 days after their first meeting, Sept. 11, 2000, PS 128 was approved May 31, 2001, through voluntary consensus. Its expected publication date is Aug.1. “This was a group effort from a committee of very informed members,” said Merle I. Stoner, chairman of Subcommittee F15.49 and president of Poolguard/PBM Industries, Inc., North Vernon, Ind., who has been producing pool alarms for 20 years.

“The standard raises the safety requirements for pool alarms and their manufacturing,” he affirmed. “A child drowning in a back yard is a very serious problem. The only way to make pools safer is to have products that meet safety standards such as ASTM, and develop consumer awareness and confidence in these products.”

Kathie Morgan, manager of Committee F15 on Consumer Products, congratulated the subcommittee for completing the standard in less than a year’s time. The committee is striving to accelerate the release of effective safety standards.

In their May 2000 report, the CPSC noted that pool alarms are not substitutes for guarding children at poolside.

For further technical information, contact Merle I. Stoner, president, Poolguard/PBM Industries, Inc., North Vernon, Ind. (phone: 812/346-2648). For Committee F15 meeting or membership details, contact director Kathie Morgan, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9721). //

Copyright 2001, ASTM