Accidental drownings and near-drownings are tragedies among children ages 1 to 3 every year. With thousands of families affected every year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) developed pool safety guidelines to prevent drowning deaths. The research found astonishing statistics.

  • Nearly 300 children younger than 5 drown in swimming pools and spas each year.
  • Children aged 1 to 3 years represented 67 percent of the reported fatalities.
  • Over 4000 children younger than 5 suffer require emergency room treatment as a result of submersion injuries.
  • The majority of drownings involving victims younger than 5 occur in pools owned by the family, friends, or relatives.

Do I Need a Fence Around My In-Ground Pool in Northern California?

These tragedies are preventable if you follow the appropriate safety guidelines as set forth by the CPSC. Their guidelines are designed to promote pool safety awareness, make residential pools safer, and to save lives. While the guidelines are not a replacement for adult supervision, they provide additional protection to reduce the risk of pool accidents. Northern California incorporates these guidelines into their building codes. If you have a pool, you need to check with your local authorities to learn what regulations and safety standards apply to your in-ground pool. Using pool covers is one way to reduce the risk of children getting into a pool, but there is a more effective option as well. Pool safety fences provide barriers to the pool area and provide significantly more protection against drownings.

Children and toddlers are inquisitive and impulsive which make swimming pools particularly dangerous. After reviewing data on drownings and information on pool barrier construction, the CPSC concluded that the best way to reduce child drownings in residential pools is for pool owners to construct and maintain barriers. By preventing access to pool and spa areas, children are safer. There are specific guidelines for the types of barriers or pool safety fences you can have. There are several types of fences and materials to choose from, including metal, wood, glass, and mesh. Mesh fences provide durability and protection. They cannot be climbed or damaged in a way that creates holes. With the right design and customizations as well as proper installation, a mesh pool safety fence is the best way to make the pool a safer place. Regulations for pool safety fences in Northern California include:

  • A fence height of no less than 48 inches, with 60 inches being the recommended height.
  • A self-closing and self-latching gate.
  • No cutouts with spaces greater than 1 ¾ inches in size.
  • The gate to be the same height as the fence, ideally 60 inches.
  • Latches for the gate to be at the top.
  • No gaps in the fence between material and poles greater than 4 inches.

Removable mesh fences are specifically made for swimming pools. They can be removable so you can take them to your next home and pool too. They are more aesthetically pleasing as they do not obstruct garden views in the way other materials like wood can. You need a self-latching gate and self-closing so a child cannot open it on their own.


If you own a pool, it is recommended that you also have a safety fence. If you want a pool cover too, this only increases safety. Just be sure the cover is always securely fastened and never left open. You also need a cover specifically designed for safety. They are thicker and have brackets and straps for secure locking. Pool safety is a top priority for any pool owner. Tragedies can be prevented if you follow the guidelines and invest in a pool safety fence for your pool.

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