Pool company owner: 'Have a safe drain'

Pool drain safety urged after Usher child's near drowning

Published On: Aug 07 2013 04:14:58 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 07 2013 05:09:32 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

The near-drowning of R&B star Usher's 5-year-old son Monday in his family's Atlanta swimming pool has prompted life-saving advice from Keith Zars, president of Keith Zars Pools.

"Safest thing, have a safe drain," Zars said.

He said it's possible the sump drain was uncovered when Usher's child reached in to grab a toy.

Zars said he recommends pool-owners follow a checklist for their drain covers that his company sends its clients.

He said, "Are all the screws there? Is the cover in place? Is there any part of the cover that is broken?"

Zars said if the cover is cracked or broken, "Then that drain cover needs to be replaced."

He said until then, stay out of the pool.

Zars said if the worst happens, the natural instinct is to jump in the pool to dislodge whoever is trapped by the powerful suction.

However, Zars said the quickest method to break the vacuum can be found on top of the pool pump.

"First thing you need to do is turn off the breaker, then open the air-relief valve," Zars said.

He said rather than wait until there's an emergency, practice what needs to be done.

In the case of Usher's son, Atlanta police said the boy had been alone in the pool.

Zars said constant adult supervision by someone who knows what to do ahead of time is vital.

He said, "You've got to do it fast because seconds count."

The incident occurred during Pool and Spa Drain Safety Month.

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