Posted by Frank Murch | Feb 26, 2014, 3:00:00 AM
Property Managers - Is your client’s pool signage up to date?
Many Home Owner’s Associations (HOAs) that manage swimming pools do not know if their swimming pool signs are in legal compliance. They probably are not. Unfortunatly many Property Managers learn about the requirements when there is a problem. HOA pools are rarely inspected, but when there is a problem, the HOA compliance and the liability are linked. As a property manager one of your biggest tasks is to keep the HOA in legal compliance – Your reputation, certifications and financial well being depend on it! The legal requirements for pool signs are covered under the California Building Code (24 CCR 3120B.1 et seq.). Do you comply? Chances are you don’t! Up to 80% of local North County San Diego Swimming Pools and Spas probably don’t.
The requirements change. Most pools were compliant when they were constructed. Swimming Pool signs are available as generic mail order signs, but most are sold nationally and do not comply with the newest California requirements. The latest amendments to §3120B.1 went into effect in 2013. These require new signs for California public pools. “Public pools” are defines as commercial buildings, hotels, motels, resorts, recreational vehicle or mobile home parks, campgrounds, apartment houses, condominiums, townhouses, homeowner associations, clubs, community buildings or areas, public or private schools, medical facilities, bread and breakfasts, licensed day-care facilities, recreation and park districts, and municipal pools.
Still many HOAs want the cheapest solution and fail to comply. Worse, the look and feel of these generic signs cheapen the community because generic signs are attempting to comply with multiple state requirements. The colors, sizes, lettering and phases are often too minimal or tourtured to blend into the communities they are posted in.
Custom signs achieve two objectives: 1) they comply with the California requirements, the HOA requirements and in some cases the special rules and regulations of the city. Being custom, they can say what needs to be said specifically. 2) The colors, shapes and construction can match the construction, sytle and wishes on the HOA.
Signs for San Diego makes swimming pool signs. The quality is much higher than the generics, they can be made to fit your area with the correct sizes, shapes and colors. Here are several example signs that helped a Vista HOA to comply with the current code. Here are some of questions:
1. Certain signs must have 4 inch letters, others 1 inch letters – do you know which is which?
2. Gate requirements are very specific – does your state “KEEP CLOSED” in 4 inch lettering?
3. There are “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY” requirements – does the generic sign you posted years ago conform to the current law?
4. Are your signs a collection of mismatched antiques that are complying with laws in other states or laws that changes years ago?
These and other questions should lead to an audit of your swimming pool signage. You need one sign to comply or do you need a 100% replacement? We can help.
If you need to audit a pool area, snap some pictures and lets look at the signs that are there now! Then lets look at the legal requirements and see how close the actual signs fit the requirements. This is a great topic for a Property Manager to bring up in the next HOA meeting. It focuses the HOA board on concrete and specific