Public pool safety markings and signs

Commercial Swimming Pool Standards

Swimming pools for public or business use.




The depth of water shall be plainly marked at or above the water surface on the vertical pool wall and on the edge of the deck at points of change in bottom slope, and spaced at not more than 25-foot (7.6-m) intervals measured peripherally. Markings shall be on both sides and ends of the pool. Where depth markings cannot be placed on the vertical walls above the water level, other means shall be used so that the markings will be plainly visible to persons in the pool


Markings shall be indicated in feet and inches and may also be indicated in m. The depth markings shall include the units, i.e., “FEET,” or “FT.,” “INCHES” or “IN.,” and “METERS.” Depth markings (depths in numerals and units in letters) shall be of 4 inches (10 cm) minimum height and in color contrasting with the background.



Unit Composition One unit of lifesaving equipment shall consist of the following: Throwable Device – A U.S. Coast Guard-approved ring, 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter, or a throwing buoy, fitted with a ¼-inch (6 mm) diameter line with a length of 1.5 times the maximum width of the pool, or 50 feet (15 m), whichever is less.

Reaching Device

A life pole or a shepherd’s crook-type of pole, with blunted ends and a minimum length of 12 feet (3.7 m).

Units Required

One unit of lifesaving equipment shall be provided for each 2,000 square feet (186 m2) of water surface Area or major fraction thereof. A minimum of one unit shall be provided.


Lifesaving equipment shall be mounted in conspicuous places, distributed around the swimming pool deck. Whenever lifeguard chairs are provided, each chair shall be equipped with one unit of lifesaving equipment.



Every swimming pool shall be equipped with a long spine board with ties and a collar, and with a first aid kit which contains all of the following materials:

  • two units – 1-inch (2.5 cm) adhesive compress
  • two units – 2-inch (5.1 cm) bandage compress two units – 3-inch (7.6 cm)
  • bandage compress two units – 4-inch (10 cm) bandage compress
  • one unit – 3-inch by 3-inch (7.6 cm by 7.6 cm) plain gauze pad
  • two units – gauze roller bandage
  • one unit – eye dressing packet
  • four units – plain absorbent gauze, ½ square yard (0.42 m2)
  • three units – plain absorbent gauze, 24 inches (61 cm) by 72 inches (180 cm)
  • four units – triangular bandages, 40 inches (101.6 cm/1.Om)
  • one unit – bandage scissors, tweezers
  • two units – disposable surgical gloves
  • one unit – CPR face mask
  • two units – protective face shield


A swimming pool with a water surface area in excess of 4,000 square feet (370 m2) shall have a readily Accessible room or area designated and equipped for emergency care. The room or area shall have a cot, sink and telephone.


Facilities which do not have a first aid room should have a telephone in or immediately adjacent to the pool area. The emergency number shall be posted at each pool area phone.


An emergency exit from the pool area shall be provided.



The posted rules shall include:

  • Persons with infections not permitted.
  • Do not bring food, drink, gum or tobacco or tobacco products into the pool enclosure.
  • Shower before entering and after use of toilet facilities.
  • No running or rough play.
  • No diving, or no diving except in designated diving areas.
  • No containers made of glass or shatterable plastic.
  • Persons with a disease which can be transmitted through pool use shall not use the pool.



Whenever the regulatory authority determines that additional rules are needed to protect the health and safety of patrons, the management shall post and enforce such rules.


Whenever the pool area is opened for use and no lifeguard service is provided, warning signs shall be placed in plain view of the entrances and inside the pool area which state, “WARNING – NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” with clearly legible letters at least 4 inches (10 cm) high. In addition, the signs shall also state in clearly legible letters at least 2 inches (5.1 cm) high, “NO SWIMMING ALONE. CHILDREN AND NON-SWIMMERS SHALL NOT USE THE POOL UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A RESPONSIBLE ADULT.”

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