The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of Nationwide Industries Trident Pool Gate Latches. These defective latches were sold between February and October of 2013. They were manufactured in China for Nationwide Industries, Inc., of Tampa, Florida. These malfunctioning latches were installed by professional fence contractors and sold by dealers and gate manufacturers. They are available in 10″ and 20″ models and sold for $50 to $60.
The danger in using these latches is an inadequate magnetic strip that is contained in the striker portion of the latch assembly. This magnet can come loose, preventing the latch from closing properly and securing the gate. Without the gate properly latched, the pool becomes a drowning hazard.
The city of Austin requires swimming pools to have fences and self-closing and self-latching gates. These defective latches violate the law.
Fencing with self-latching gates is required for:
- Private pools
- Water parks
These regulations come from needless pool accidents. A simple fence and gate can save lives, especially the lives of children who are attracted to the water, not realizing how dangerous it can be.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
The homeowner is responsible for the safety of their visitors in the same way a property owner is responsible for their tenants and guests. As with most recalls, the consumers discover the problem and report the defect to the manufacturer or the Consumer Product Safety Commission. When it becomes apparent that the defect is widespread and not limited to a few devices, the recall is triggered by either the manufacturer or the CPSC.
Anyone who has a swimming pool under his or her control is responsible for ensuring that the pool is safe. This includes the water quality and proper chemical treatments, electrical wiring of pumps and lights, and the entire enclosure. Any failure to inspect and maintain these elements of a swimming pool can result in a personal injury or wrongful death claim based on negligence.
The CPSC is a great resource for pool safety information. Their website contains downloadable information everyone should be familiar with before entering a pool area. According to the CPSC, seventy-five percent of all drowning victims are between the ages of one and three. In most drowning cases, the victim has been missing for five minutes or less. It is a silent death without screaming or splashing that would alert anyone of the event.
For victims that can be rescued in time to save their lives, the future can be grim. Most near-drowning victims suffer various degrees of brain damage from the lack of oxygen. These injuries can be mild, effecting speech, mobility, or cognition. More severe injuries can leave the victim clinging to life supporting devices or in a coma.
These defective latches are being recalled, and it is illegal to sell or install them at this time, however, the recall affects the thousands of latches that have already been sold and are installed in pool enclosures today.
If you have suffered a personal injury, call The Kyle Law Firm to schedule a free consultation today.