An industry organization dedicated to diving board safety is continuing to grow.
The Diving Board Safety Network, a Web-based resource center, was founded in 2007 by S.R. Smith, a manufacturer of diving boards in Canby, Ore. The group now has a dozen partners.
“We were getting a lot of questions about diving boards and safety from consumers,” said Brett Fritts, S.R. Smith’s vice president of marketing. “Being in the diving board business, we already had a cachet of internal information that had not been published. So we decided to take our knowledge and put it out on the Web.”
Consumers visiting www.divingboardsafety.net will find diving safety tips, a Q&A and illustrations on how to dive properly. They can also view a video with Olympian Mary Ellen Clark teaching proper diving techniques.
The section for industry members contains diving safety studies, articles and downloadable consumer handouts.
Industry enthusiasm for the network is reflected in the growing number of partners. The most recent additions were General Pool & Spa Supply, a distributor based in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and Master Pools Guild, a builder group based in Richmond, Va.
“As a distributor, it’s part of our job to disseminate information and education to the trade,” said Phil Gelhaus, CEO of General Pool & Spa Supply. “Our Web site is hooked to theirs. We’re all about safety and education.”
The DBSN Web site is updated numerous times each quarter, and feedback has generally been very positive. Fritts said.
“Consumers mostly e-mail us about safe pool use, such as, ‘Kids doing flips — should we allow that?’ Industry feedback consists mainly of questions about pool type, board placement and signage,” he added.
Though funded and operated by a manufacturer, DBSN seems to have evolved almost organically.
“This is a fairly informal, open organization, sort of grass roots,” Fritts said. There are no official criteria for potential partners, though he noted that members should be somehow tied to the pool industry or water safety.
Nor are there dues, but being a partner means lending your name to DBSN, and thus increasing its credibility. If you’re able to pass along safety data to the Web site, all the better.
“A more informed trade means a safer backyard.” Gelhaus remarked.