Senator Newman’s Drowning Prevention Bill Passes Senate Unanimously

Monday, May 22 2017

Sacramento, CA – Senate Bill (SB) 442, passed out of the Senate today with unanimous support. The bill authored by Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), aims to update the existing “Swimming Pool Safety Act” of 1996 to require at least two of seven safety devices specified by the Act. The bill would also require home inspectors to ensure pool or spa areas are equipped with two of the seven specified devices, at the point of sale. 

“Residential pool drowning incidents are preventable and a matter of public health and safety,” said Senator Josh Newman. “This bill provides an update to the twenty year old Pool Safety Act and will help reduce future fatalities and injuries due to drowning.”

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages one to four, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health. From 2010 – 2014 there were 160 drowning deaths of California children in that age range. More than 741 children were hospitalized due to brain injuries caused by drowning.


The original Pool Safety Act was passed in 1996 to address residential pool drowning. It required all new swimming pools constructed at single-family homes be equipped with either a permanent fence, a pool cover, exit alarms or self-closing devices on all doors providing access to the pool, or another safety feature providing as least as much protection as the specified four. The act was amended in 2006 to reflect the availability of two additional drowning-prevention features: removable mesh fencing and pool alarms that sound when a person enters the water.

SB 442 would also require a home inspector, at the point of sale, to include in their report which of the two safety devices the pool or spa has or does not have to help aide in compliance with the law statewide. 

Senator Josh Newman represents the 29th Senate District, which includes cities across Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties.