Inflatable pools draw safety issues

Ortonville- Village resident Traci McCormick and her two daughters, Erica and Hailee, spend long, hot summer days playing in their back yard inflatable pool.
‘The pool was a birthday gift for Erica,? says McCormick. ‘It’s big enough for the whole family, and in the fall we can just deflate it and put it away.?
McCormick is just one of a growing number of inflatable pool owners who are reaping the benefits of the inexpensive alternative to in-ground or solid wall above-ground pools. The inflatable pools come with pumps, filters and are available at a variety of area stores, or can be ordered online.
While the pools portability is an advantage for many homeowners, at least one local official is expressing some serious concerns about safety and code violations regarding the inflatables.
‘It’s a matter of protecting the access to the pool from the outside,? said Tim Palulian, Brandon Township building director.
‘We’re seeing more inflatable pools in the area. They’re inexpensive compared to other pools, easy to put up and kids love them. But the code requires a 48-inch fence around the pools that are between 24 inches and 48 inches. In addition, if residents are using electric pumps they must be grounded.?
Palulian advises residents to check with the local building department before installing an inflatable pool or any pool.
‘Last year we asked some residents to drain their pool that was not in compliance.?