Creating a swimming pool in your yard is one of the fanciest things you can do, but don’t you forget that such a luxury comes with many responsibilities which you should gladly accept to make your pool safe. Whether you have chosen to build an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, safety is still a major concern, and failure to put measures that keep the pool area safe can land you in serious legal trouble. Having a barrier around your swimming pool is one of the best ways to reduce accidental drowning cases, hence reduce the probability of being liable for such cases. When installing a pool fence, however, there are some standards that you need to pay attention to. Failure to pay attention to such standards can subject you to pool liability, whether yours is a public or private swimming pool. Even though such requirements vary a tad in the different states, they are quite similar, which is why we are going to discuss the general pool fencing requirements to keep your pool safe at all times.
Pool Fencing Requirements
Fence height requirements
Whether you have preferred to construct an in-ground or above ground pool, one thing that almost remains stagnant for these types of pools is the height requirement of the fence. If the depth of your pool is 18 inches or more, you have to consider installing a fence which will be at least 4 feet tall. Keep in mind that if such a fence is made out of masonry, you have to seek an additional permit to avoid legal issues. The four feet height requirement is the minimum that your fence should have, but you are not limited if you want to go higher. Some experts advise pool owners to build a fence that is 6 feet or higher, just to be on the safe side. Since children are full of energy and curiosity, there is a possibility that they might think of getting an object which can help them climb over. The taller, the better, so if you have the capacity, think of a taller barrier. In some states, the fence, building or wall that prevents unwanted access to the pool is required to have space at the bottom that should not be larger than 2 inches in height.
Alarm on the fence gate
Installing a barrier around the swimming pool automates the need for an entry point, which must be as effective as possible when preventing unwanted access into the pool. If the gate or door to your pool is not working effectively, then there is no point in installing a fence in the first place. To add to the gate’s effectiveness, you should consider installing an alarm system that should notify you when someone is trying to access the pool having not been authorized.
Fence gate closing mechanisms
This is another pool fencing requirement that applies in a majority of the states, and it goes a long way in keeping your children and pets safe by preventing unwanted access into the pool area. Say for example you have installed a pool fence gate whose opening mechanism is a simple push. A child or pet will find it easier than you think to get access into the pool, and before you know it, you could have a case to answer, in addition to being affected by the loss of someone who matters a lot in your life. As such, it’s always a good idea to ensure that the gates installed to allow access into the pool area are lockable with a self-closing, self-latching mechanism. Such mechanisms go a long way in enhancing safety since other mechanical locking devices don’t give space for forgetfulness.
With an automatic self-closing and locking mechanism, however, you can be sure that your pool is safe at all times. One precaution, however, that you must take when using such systems is ensuring that they are always in an excellent working condition, which is why it’s advisable to have them inspected once in a while. For the opening direction, it’s required that your swimming pool gates open outwards from the pool, so watch out for that too. There are some latch height considerations to take note of too when using the self-closing and locking ones that won’t need a key. Ensure that the latch is at least 54 inches from the ground to make it safer for children. For the latches that need a digital combination, normal combination, or even a key, you won’t have to worry about the height, but always be cautious so that you never forget to lock the gate. For cases where you may need a key, consider putting a large sign near the gate that will remind the last person leaving the pool to lock the gate.
Pool signs on your fence
You may have heard of cases where accidental drowning occurred as a result of lack of, or even unclear signage in the pool area. As such, you have to ensure that ALL important swimming pool notices are listed on a signage board that which should be installed where everyone can see it (near the gates or on the gates is most preferred). Such a signage board should contain important guidelines, for example, “NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY,” “NO DIVING,” and others. The recommended height of such signage structures should be at least 4 inches high, and you must use a font size and color that is easy to read.
Having a swimming pool has lots of benefits, but they could all turn into misery and regrets if you fail to pay attention to the vital requirements that help to keep your pool safe. As such, it should be in your best interest to heed to the above-listed pool fence requirements that add to the safety of your in-ground pool or above ground pool. Remember that the law holds you responsible for ensuring safety in your pool area, so do your best to guard pool users against unwanted accidents.