Thousands of commercial pools and spas across Florida will be subject to new safety standards under a bill that awaits the governor’s signature.

House Bill 849, which passed the state legislature earlier this month, calls for certain public vessels built before Jan. 1, 1993, to be retrofitted with one of several devices or systems that prevents entrapment and evisceration. It also requires that a licensed pool or spa contractor handle the installation.

“The core responsibility of government is to protect our citizens to the best of our ability,” said Republican state Rep. Larry Ahern, who also is a member of the Florida Swimming Pool Association. “Ideally, I would have liked to be able to talk about it more before we settled on multiple options. But we can always go back and address the issue again if there are any problems with implementation.”