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Fence Law For Pools Approved

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LANSING - Private swim-l ming pools throughout Mich-J igan will have to have 4-footl fences around them, if a billl passed by the House Wednesdayl also is approved in the Senate. I The number of private pools I in the state has risen sharply inl recent years, and the legisla-l tion is an attempt to stem the! growing number of drowningsl which have accompanied thatl growth, said Rep. James F.l Smith, R-Davison, chief spon-l sor of the measure. Smith said the bill is especial-l ly designed to prevent deaths ofl small children in private poolsj although it also would apply tol any type of pools- public, pri-l ,vate and semiprivate - used byl anyone. Included is any pool installed either above or below groundl Ie vel and ha ving a depth of not lless than 2 feet at any point. The only exception to thej fencing law would be for outIdoor wading pools of shallower depth. If the pool is one of the increasingly popular outdoor tank types with a wall at least 4-feet high, only the access to the unit would have to be Ifenced. I Smith said he introduced the Ibill af ter noticing that there Iwere many private pools in his Idistrict without fences and aftIer being told by the state pólice Ithat the number of pool deathsl lis rising. I In 1965 there were five priIvate pool deaths reported; inl ■966, 25; and in 1967, the lastl Irear for which figures arel fevailable, 27. No record wasj Rept on ages of the victims, but Kmith said probably a majority were youngsters. I The bill, if it passes the Senate, may not have much practij leal effect this year because of the legislativé time periodl linvolved, unless both chambers complete action quickly and give the measure "immediate effect."