VGB Safety Act

Also Known As: Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act

The Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act is named for the granddaughter of former Secretary of State, James Baker. Graeme, a great swimmer, died of complications as a result of a suction entrapment incident.

Each year, dozens of children and adults are injured or killed in similar accidents, and so Graeme’s mother Nancy Baker lobbied for a new law requiring anti-entrapment devices and other safety measures. The Virginia Graeme Baker Safety Act was enacted in 2007.

This law addresses three areas, including vacuum release, potentially entrapping conditions and equipment, and unsupervised children. It requires anti-entrapment devices to be installed and maintained in commercial pools and spas. Anti-entrapment devices include the following:

  • safety vacuum release system (SVRS)
  • suction limiting vent system
  • gravity drainage system
  • automatic pump shut‑off system
  • drain disablement

To comply with the law, any of the above systems must meet specific requirements. All public pools that were built on or after January 1, 2010 must have at least two main drains per pump, and these drains must meet the requirements of Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Existing pools with only one main drain must have an additional entrapment prevention device system from the list above.