Dubai: With several incidents of drowning in swimming pools involving both adults and children over the last two years, the issue of swimming pools and their safety is a recurring theme.
Are the regulations regarding swimming pools, whether in commercial premises or in residential complexes, adequate? How strictly are the rules on swimming pool safety being enforced?
Though it is the parents’ duty to pay attention to their children, there must be an increase in regulations and protection. Marwan Abdullah Mohammad, Director of Public Health and Safety Department at Dubai Municipality, said that there are many articles in Local Order 11/2003 concerning public health and community safety that clearly state necessary requirements for swimming pools.
“Article 49 gives Dubai Municipality, specifically the public health and safety department, the authority to close down a pool if it can cause harm to its users or if it fails to rectify to a certain status within a notified period to comply with health and safety requirements,” he said.
Other articles, such as Article 48, also indicate that the owner or manager of a building is responsible for providing healthy conditions and safety requirements for swimming pools, said Mohammad.
“Pools can be built both indoors and outdoors but for indoor pools, ventilation and indoor air quality must be compliant with Dubai municipality regulations,” he said.
In terms of pool specifications, Mohammad said that swimming pools must be built as per Dubai Municipality requirements and the owner must obtain approvals for the design of the swimming pool prior to the building process.
“Dubai Municipality safety officers make routine inspections of all public swimming pools in the emirate of Dubai to ensure the fulfilment of health and safety requirements,” he said.
Mohammad said that hygiene should be maintained with regular maintenance and monitoring water quality with efforts made by Dubai Municipality safety officers. However, safety measures must be take to ensure the safety of users, especially those who are young.
“Lifeguards are important and must be available full time at swimming pools during the opening hours,” he said. “The lifeguard must be qualified and certified for life-saving technique, first aid and CPR procedures.”
In cases of drowning, a swimming pool must be closed until investigations are carried out by Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police ensuring preventative action has been taken.
Maria Botros is a trainee at Gulf News
Source : http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/society/dubai-municipality-on-swimming-pool-regulations-1.1468836