Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Home Care
by Scott Sauer
Advanced Structural Inspections

Pool Safety
It only takes a few seconds for a small child to find his way to the pool. Once in the water he can lose consciousness in as little as two minutes. A silent tragedy has begun. There will be no screams. No cries for help. By four minutes, brain damage has likely occurred and a family will be changed forever.

The family will likely be in financial ruins, as the amount and quality of health care and therapy needed for the child will take more than the normal insurance policy will allow. If not found by six minutes, the child is likely dead. Statistics taken from various news releases indicate that approximately nine deaths and over forty near-drownings occurred in Clark County in 2008. Nearly all were small children younger than age four and generally with adults nearby. Enforcement of only 2 building codes would greatly reduce the number of these tragedies.

Pool barriers prevent pool access and are required, according to the International Residential Code, to be a minimum of forty-eight inches high. The bottom of the barrier must be within a maximum of two inches of grade. The maximum opening must be less than four inches and the barrier can’t be climbable. Gates must be self-latching and open away from the pool. The latch must be a minimum of fifty-four inches above ground on the pool side and a minimum of three inches from the top. No openings greater than 1/2" within eighteen inches of the latch are allowed.

Door alarms which produce an audible warning when the door is opened are currently required for all doors and screens with direct pool access. The alarm shall sound continuously for a minimum of thirty seconds immediately after the door is opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. Garage side doors which give access to the yard where a pool is located are required to be alarmed as well.

Many people use the excuse that their pool is “grandfathered” and not required to meet the current mandated building codes. This may be true, but the pool does not take that into consideration once a child has gained access. People will read this article and though they may think the two recommendations are a good idea, they will likely not act to bring their pool into current compliance.

For more on this or other home care subjects, contact Scott at

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