Home Inspectors in California have additional requirements to assess when inspecting a single-family residence with a swimming pool or spa. Based on a new law that went into effect on January 1st, 2018, Home Inspectors must now perform a visual, noninvasive inspection of seven specific drowning prevention safety features for each pool area. This bill would also require, when a building permit is issued, that the pool or spa be equipped with at least 2 of 7 specified drowning prevention safety features.


All of these safeguards are intended to prevent small children from entering a pool area without supervision and putting themselves at risk of drowning.


Effective immediately, HomeGuard is complying with this new law. On our field sheets, inspectors must:

  • Mark that a pool/spa was present under “Descriptions.”
  • Note the type of pool/spa under “Headers.”
  • Indicate which of the seven features were present under ‘Observations.”
  • If less than two features are present, the inspector must record that.


Seven New Home Inspection Requirements for Residential Swimming Pools


Here are the seven new safety features that our home inspectors must assess:


Safety Feature One

Is there an enclosure that isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home?

An “enclosure” means a fence, wall, or other barrier that isolates a swimming pool from access to the home. There are six characteristics that must be present for an enclosure to be in compliance. All six must be observable, as in place, for the enclosure to meet the requirements of the legislation.


Safety Feature Two

Is there removable mesh fencing in conjunction with a side gate that is self-closing/self-latching and can also accommodate a key-lockable device? Some of these design requirements can be measured.


Safety Feature Three

Is there an attached approved safety pool cover? Please note that a solar cover does not fulfill this standard.


Safety Feature Four

Are there exit alarms on all doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa? The exit alarms may cause an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeated notification that ‘the door to the pool is open’.  Exit alarms may be battery operated or connected to the electrical wiring of the building.


Safety Feature Five

Is there a self-closing/self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on any door providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa?  This includes sliding glass doors.


Safety Feature Six

Is there an alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water?


Safety Feature Seven

Are there other means of protection through which the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above?


If you have any questions about what an inspector must look for based on these new regulations, give us a call. 855-331-1900


Note: The new inspection requirements do not apply to:

  • Public swimming pools
  • Hot tubs or spas with locking safety covers
  • Pools in apartment complexes


Home Inspections and Hazard Assessments in Sacramento and the Bay Area

Whether you are a buyer, a seller, a property developer or simply a concerned homeowner, getting a termite inspection, home inspection, roof inspection, and obtaining an up-to-date NHD Report is vital. Knowledge is power, and this information is critical for anticipating the risks you must account for when living in or managing California properties.

HomeGuard provides home inspection services in Novato, Sacramento and the Bay Area. A qualified home inspector can assess the state of your designated property. We provide natural hazard reports (also referred to as natural hazard disclosure reports or NHD reports), so you might avoid future surprises ranging from inconvenient to alarming. Ultimately, this enables you to exist in your home with the peace of mind you deserve. Call us at today at 855-331-1900, or feel free to use our online contact form to get a free quote.