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Code Enforcers Crack Down On “Silent Menace”

Scott Banker always keeps a watchful eye on his 7 year old son, Ian, and his 8 year old niece, Miesha, when they play in their blue inflatable pool.

But he acknowledges he has yet to comply with state and local building code laws including the installation of an audible alarm and a barrier fence around the pool.

“I usually keep a pretty good eye on the pool, especially when they’re in it and even when they’re not in it…For the regulations, I think they’re a good idea,” said Banker.

Massena Code Enforcement Officer Gregory Fregoe has been busy this summer checking for violators.

He says any pool holding 24 inches of water or more, including inflatable blue pools, need a permit and should be surrounded by a 4 foot high locked fence or barrier.

The law also requires the pool be equipped with an audible alarm that sounds should someone fall in.

“The quick-set blue pools, which we call them, are a menace to the villages. They’re a danger because because people erect them with no concern about the code requirements,” said Fregoe.

Frego says the various sized blue pools are becoming “a silent menace” because they are cost friendly and easy to set up for the consumer, but they can also be risky and dangerous to youngsters and animals if local laws aren’t followed.

Statistics indicate that close to 200 children nationwide drown or are injured in swimming pools each year.

So far this summer, the village code enforcement officer has handed out warnings and information on how to comply with the law to more than 20 alleged first offense violators.

But a quick check found that complying with the code could end up being more costly than the price of the blue pool, especially when you factor in the $30 to $200 cost of the alarm, not to mention the cost of the fencing and other requirements.

Massena officials say before installing a pool, people should consult local and state codes or call the Code officer at 769-6803.