Pool and Spa Drain Safety

What is drain entrapment?

An entrapment occurs when a person or an object attached to a person is sucked onto a pool or spa drain and becomes stuck by the drain’s force. There are 5 types of entrapment:

  1. Hair: Hair becomes entangled in a drain cover
  2. Limb: Arms, legs, feet or fingers are stuck in a drain opening
  3. Body: A body part, often the torso or bottom, covers a drain and is held down by suction
  4. Mechanical: Jewelry, bathing suits or other materials are entangled in a drain cover or pipe
  5. Evisceration/disembowelment: Organs or intestines are pulled from the body due to suction of a drain

How to Lessen the Chances of Drain Entrapment

If a drain cover becomes loose or falls off, shut down the pool or spa immediately. No one should enter the pool or spa area until it is repaired by a licensed maintenance professional. Install an emergency pump shutoff system and anti-entrapment drain covers on your pool systems.

  • Instruct all swimmers to stay away from drains.
  • Do NOT encourage swimmers to use diving toys, which often migrate to drains.
  • Tie up long hair.
  • Do NOT swim with loose fitting clothing or jewelry.
  • Follow the ABC&Ds of water safety.

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Water Safety Center