Sunday, January 2, 2011

Putnam Tragedy Sparks New Law Now In Effect

The month of January means that several new laws take effect in Tennessee -- including one sparked by a tragedy in Putnam County.   "Katie Beth's Law" would require back-yard pool alarms in certain circumstances. It is named for the 17-month-old great-granddaughter of State Senator Charlotte Burks of Monterey. Katie Beth drowned in a residential swimming pool back in 2009. And, according to the law Burks then sponsored, effective Jan. 1, 2011, anyone selling swimming pools to the general pubic must post in a prominent place a sign, at least 6 inches high and 14 inches wide, that reads quote: “State law requires a pool alarm be installed.” Any pool that that was purchased for installation after April 30th of last year must have an alarm. And no local government may issue a building permit for the construction or substantial alteration of a swimming pool located at a residential dwelling, unless the project calls for a functioning swimming pool alarm to be installed prior to the completion of the project.A violation of this law is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine only, not to exceed $100.