US 3000017 A
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Sept. 19, 1961 L. A. SKOVIRA SAFETY-NET FOR SWIMMING POOLS Filed July 10, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Leonard A. S/ro w'ra INVENTOR.
P 1961 L. A. SKOVIRA 3,000,017
SAFETY-NET FOR SWIMMING POOLS Filed July 10, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 N K N Q m gag g 8 N E s g N s k //N Leonard A. owra 1N VlfN TOR.
United States Patent p 3,000,017 SAFETY-NET FOR SWIMMING POOLS Leonard A. Skovira, 6304 Eastern Ave., Baltimore 24, Md. Filed July 10, 1959, Ser. No. 826,223 2 Claims. (Cl. 4-172) This invention relates to an improved swimming pool safety-net or guard having a number of practical functions which, considered collectively, oifer desirable ways and means to safeguard users and others and which provides, as will be hereinafter evident, an appreciable and needed advance in this line of endeavor.
Persons conversant with prior art contrivances and safety-promoting apparatus will appreciate that many and varied guards have been proposed with a view toward increasing safety measures for swimming pools. For example, a canvas or an equivalent tarpaulin is in use which, when the pool is out of use, is laboriously spread over the top of the pool requiring, no doubt, assistance and an expenditure of valuable time in applying, anchoring and storage and, sooner or later becoming a nuisance, to say the least. It follows that one aim in the instant matter is to improve upon and simplify this aspect of the problem; so, and to this end, one objective here is to provide a'pool cover which is unique in that it floats atop the pool water when used as a cover and descends to the bottom and stays there when the pool is in use. To ac complish this, I provide a simple frame having a suitably fabricated net and an inflatable and deflatable pneumatic tube preferably attached to the bottom of the frame. When inflated the tube brings the net to the top of the water; and, when the tube is deflated the netted frame sinks to the bottom and stays there. But this is only one phase of the over-all concept.
Secondly, but no less significant, is the idea and purpose of the net when it is situated at the bottom of the pool to prevent drowning of a child when the pool is open and competent help may not be on hand to undertake, if necessary, a life saving task. For example, the net, being at the bottom of the pool, if a child falls in the water, the weight of the child landing on the net, which is spring-suspended, will cause the net to sink below a slightly elevated level in a manner to trip and trigger a compressed air control valve. Since the valve is communicatively connected, by a suitable hose line, to a normally deflated net floating tube, the latter will come into play and the net will rise (like an automatic elevator) and bring the victim to the surface.
In addition, an audible alarm is provided and sounds off as soon as the valve opens. Therefore, anyone nearby or even at hand, will respond and hasten to the rescue of the victim. Not only this, the invention also offers users a protective floor or false bottom. That is to say, the net, being fabricated from broad interwoven elastic (plastic) straps or hands constantly under tension, provides a cushioned and rebounding bottom and, the frame, being spring-balanced, also responds so that a careless or untrained diver can rest assured that instead of landing on a hard and dangerous bottom, he will instead land upon the yieldable net with the result that the likelihood of injury will be reduced almost to nil.
Other objects, features and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description and the accompanying illustrative, but not restrictive, drawmgs.
In the drawings, wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the views:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view illustrating a simple concrete or an equivalent swimming pool and wherein the novel safety net is shown situated at the bottom of the pool (see FIGS. 2 and 3).
' shown as generally rectangular.
Patented Sept. 19, 1961 ice FIG. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on the plane of the line 2--2 of FIG. 1, looking in the direction of the arrows.
FIG. 3 is a cross-section taken on the transverse line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a view like FIG. 3 except that the pneumatic tube is shown inflated in a manner to float the net atop the water in the pool.
FIG S is a fragmentary view in section and elevation on a larger scale detailing one of the headed bolts serving as a foot equipped leg, the spring being expanded to support the netted frame in its normal or ready-to-function position.
FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 5 but showing how, when weight has been imposed on the net, the spring is compressed to pull the trip rod down to trigger the control valve to an open position, after which the tube is automatically inflated.
By way of introduction to the description of the details it may be pointed out that swimming pools are by no means standard in construction. This is particularly true in respect to the various shapes currently being utilized. Also, the bottom or floor of the pool is not always level. While these factors have been taken into consideration it was thought unnecessary, insofar as the concept is concerned, to show other than a flat bottomed pool. Consequently, in actual practice the top plan configuration of the netted frame will vary. Also, instead of being completely flat the frame may have one end or one-half portion tilted so as to conform to the plane of the bottom of the pool. However, the frame is here It is denoted by the numeral 8 and is constructed of non-corrodible tubing of requisite strength and weight. That is to say, the weight will be such that the frame unless floating will sink to the bottom of the pool. As already mentioned the frame is netted that is spanned or covered substantially by an openwork net. Experience has shown that the net should preferably be flexibly resilient and of considerable strength. Therefore, it has been constructed of relatively broad water-proof plastic or equivalent elastic bands or straps 10 and 12 which are suitably interwoven with a marginal portion of the net appropriately attached to the frame members. At the respective four corners (and elsewhere if necessary) elevating and suspending legs are provided. Each leg is of the construction shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. More specifically, the leg comprises a bolt or pin the upper end of which is screw-threaded as at 14 to accommodate an adjusting nut 16. The leg slides freely through holes provided therefor in the tubing. The lower end of the ieg is provided with a head 18 which in this instance provides or functions as a foot and rests on the bottom 20 of the pool. A part of the leg below the bottom of the frame is surrounded by a coil spring 22 of requisite strength. It is to be assumed that when the frame and net is at the bottom of the pool the spring is properly adjusted and tensioned to raise the frame to the elevated position seen in FIG. 5. When, however, sufficient weight is imposed on the net the net descends in the direction of the arrow A as seen in FIG. 6. In so doing the coil spring 2 is compressed. Suitably attached to the underneath side of the frame and substantially surrounding the frame is an inflatable and deflatable pneumatic tube 24. This tube provides practical float means for elevating the netted frame from the low to the high position represented in the drawings. Normally the tube 24 is deflated but may be inflated by way of a flexible air hose or equivalent delivery line 26. The lower end of the hose is suitably connected with the tube and the upper end is connected with an elbow or the like 28 which, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, is communicatively connected with a stationary suitably constructed control valve 30 on the brim of the vertical walls 32 of the pool. The numeral 34 designates a suitably constructed audible alarm or danger signal which is brought automatically into play when the occasion for its use arises. The control valve30 is provided with an appropriate air supply pipe or line 36 leading from a compressor or other source of supply. The numeral 36 designates an appropriate cut-out or shut-off valve. As perhaps best seen in FIG. 2 the valve means in the control valve casing is triggered by an appropriate lever or equivalent trigger 38. The trip member comprises a linearly straight depending push-pull rod 40 which extends down and isprovided on its bottom with an adjustable stop shoulder 42. The lower shouldered end passes through openings 44 provided therefor as seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. The length of the rod is such that the cooperation of parts is normally as illustrated in F'IG.4 where the netted frame is elevated. When suflicient weight ascends atop the net, the net springs down as seen in FIG. 6 compressing the coil spring and at the same time pulls downwardly on the trip rod 40. This in turn operates the lever 38 and triggers the control valve which if on immediately sends the pressured air down and into the fioatable tube 24 and inflates the latter. As soon as the tube has been sufficiently inflated the entire net moves upwardly and functions as an automatic retrieving elevator for a possible victim. It is evident too that when the control valve 30 is operated the audible alarm 34 comes into play to summon such help or aid as may be available to aid in and carry out the rescue work.
When the net is employed as a safety victim recovering net at the bottom of the pool it is evident that the parts appear as shown in the drawings particularly FIGS. 5 and 6. At this time the shut-off valve 36 has of course been opened and the control valve 30 is ready to function. The pool attendant will take care of this particular task at the beginning of the day. Assuming that the net is used purely as a cushioned false bottom and the pool is being supervised by attendants it is within the purview of the invention to cut the valve 30 OE and to employ the net as a rebound-type safety bottom.
When the pool is filled with water but not supposed to be used it is then desirable to properly inflate the tube and to bring the net to the top so that the net will float on top of the water and at which time the net becomes a cover guard. In this way the cover will prevent children and adults from falling into the pool and perhaps drowning. It is also within the purview of the invention to provide, at a suitable point in the supply line 26, an approprate bleed off valve (not shown) to bleed the air from the tube whenever necessary or desired.
Since the invention is primarily in the construction of the net and its arrangement and general uses it is thought unnecessary in the instant disclosure to include the directions or instructions for attendants in handling the valves for, after all, this aspect of the over-all concept is not necessarily significant to the novelty of the invention.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of. the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. A safety net for swimming pools, comprising in combination, a perimetric frame, interwoven webbing of resiliently elastic material secured to and spanning said frame, a continuous inflatable and deflatable tube secured to the underside of the frame and extending substantially perimetrically of the latter, said tube when inflated providing buoyancy for the frame whereby the same may float on water, a plurality of spring-biased legs provided on and projecting downwardly from said frame for depressing supporting the same in an elevated position on the bottom of a pool when said tube is deflated, a normally closed compressed air supply valve adapted to be stationarily mounted adjacent a side of a pool, a flexible hose communicating said valve with said tube, and means connected to said frame and responsive to depression of the frame on said legs for opening said valve and thereby inflating said tube.
2. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said means comprise a vertical rigid rod having its upper end operatively connected to said valve, said frame being provided with vertical passage means slidably receiving the, lower end portion of said rod, and an abutment element provided at the lower end of the rod, said element being engaged by said frame when the latter is depressed whereby to slide the rod downwardly and open said valve.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,796,762 Paston Mar. 17, 1931 2,812,520 Pinckard Nov. 12, 1957 2,870,455 Reeves Jan. 27, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 73,886 Sweden Dec. 5, 1927 817,778 France May 31, 1937