Jordan government tightens pool safety regulations

Any pool owner who rents their pools without a safety licence or who does not follow safety regulations will face harsh penalties including arrest


AMMAN — Amid a reported rise in deaths from drowning incidents, the Interior Ministry has stepped up its campaign against unlicensed swimming pools.

Interior Minister Mazen Faraiah instructed all Administrative Governors and Public Security Directorates last Tuesday to follow up with the increasing number of drowning incidents in the Kingdom.

According to the Interior Ministry’s Facebook page, any pool owner who rents their pools without a safety licence or who does not follow safety regulations will face harsh penalties including arrest.

“Swimming pools should be safer, we should promote pool safety awareness,” said Anas Edwan, a chalet owner. He added that barriers are not the sole method to prevent drowning in pools and can never replace adult supervision.

The majority of drowning incidents involve young children, Edwan said. The pool regulations are not new, Edwan stated, adding that chalet and farm owners have always been legally accountable for the drowning cases at their farms.

Eman and Samer rented a farm with a swimming pool for their wedding this August. The couple told The Jordan Times that the decision to have a pool will raise the wedding costs, given they now have to cover the pool, which will cost an extra JD 500.

Aseel Al Kilani is a mother of a toddler recently admitted into the Intensive Care Unit due to a drowning incident. She said that enacting safety measures at swimming pools is essential, especially because most pool injuries and deaths involve young children.

“My child was climbing up the ladder to exit the swimming pool, when the ladder broke because it was not inserted properly. He bumped his head on the edge and fell back into the pool,” Kilani said. In a matter of seconds, the child swallowed a large amount of water from the pool. Kilani was luckily able to get her child to the ER in time, but, she told The Jordan Times, “I almost lost my child that day!”

Tarek Sarayrah, who owns three rental farms, said that the decision to regulate swimming pools was “unexpected”.

He added that now is the peak season for swimming pool rentals and the new regulations will affect the demand.

“After a year of a total shut down of the rental farms we almost got back on track and were finally able to pay back our debts,” he told The Jordan Times.

Despite multiple attempts by The Jordan Times, the Public Security Directorate’s spokesperson was not available for comment.

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