When planning to build an in-ground swimming pool, one of the things you need to consider is the pool fencing options. You need to determine the best fence to install considering your budget and preference. However, if it is your first time to go about it, you can seek help from friends, colleagues and even professionals. Fencing your pool is important due to safety regulations like preventing animals, children and other individuals from drowning. However, your pool deck and fence should meet certain requirements for the relevant authorities to deem it an actual, legal pool fence. If you fail to observe these requirements, you might get fined or face other legal actions from your county because safety should come first. Here are the requirements you need to fulfill.
Do I need to have a fence around inground pool?
There are different requirements for public and private pools. Nevertheless, these requirements should be followed at all times. In fact, if you are not sure about any of the requirements, you should consider seeking professional advice to avoid any legal actions. They include:
- The pool deck should be at least 4 feet wide for a public swimming pools
- The material used on the deck should be slip-resistant and non-abrasive
- The deck should be built around the entire pool with a flush at the top of the pool wall
If your pool is deeper than 18 inches, you are required to install a fence around it. For private pools, there are specific measurements that you are supposed to follow depending on the state or county you live in. There are numerous materials that you can use when installing a fence. Wood, glass, aluminum and mesh fencing are just a few examples. When building a pool and you think of building a masonry wall that’s over 3.5 feet high around the pool, you need an additional permit (besides the permit of building a swimming pool in your home). On the other hand, if you have a permit to build a pool and you want an enclosure (pool fence) built out of cast iron, mesh, chain link fencing or wood, you don’t need an extra permit. You can confirm from your local building code to know pool enclosure requirements to avoid making mistakes.
The enclosure should be at least 4 feet high to ensure a child, pet or someone else cannot climb over with ease. In fact, the enclosure can be more than 4 feet but not be lower to adhere to set regulations. The enclosure should also have gates which should serve as the only entry points. The gates should be self-closing and self-latching to ensure that the gates are closed at all times. Also, the latching device should be placed at least 54 inches from the floor to ensure that only an adult can open the door and access the pool. Finally, the doors in your home that have direct access to the pool should have an exit alarm. This is important to notify you when the doors are opening, who is opening them and whether they have permission to be near or in the swimming pool. Remember, these alarms should have a unique sound from other alarms for you to be able to differentiate it from the others.
Building a pool in your home and installing a fence is not enough to prevent possible accidents and injuries. If you don’t have a pool yet, you need to research well and gather all the information about swimming pool guidelines for you to understand the financial, legal and personal risks of owning a pool. It is important to understand that these guidelines and rules do not apply to in-ground pools only. Hot-tubs, above ground pools and portable kiddie pools also pose a risk to children, pets and other people and there are specific guidelines you are supposed to follow if you own any of them.
How to ensure safety in and around your pool at all times
Supervise your children closely
You should never leave your pool unattended at all times because accidents can happen when you are not around. If you will not be around for a given period of time, ensure that there is an adult who is in charge, knows how to swim and is supervising the children keenly. If you have young children or people who don’t know how to swim, stay alert and very close to them at all times.
Learn how to swim
Taking swimming lessons is recommended to children at least once a year to ensure they know how to swim and handle certain situations if they encounter them. As a parent, you are also required to know how to swim because you are the lifesaver in case a child is drowning. For non-swimmers or those who are learning how to swim, using life jackets is recommended regardless of age. However, you should discourage your kids from using floaters or tubes most of the time. This will help them avoid relying on floaters too much as well as not taking unnecessary risks.
Install anti-entrapment covers on your drains
These safety devices will keep the children as well as adults safe from being trapped by the suction action of drain pipes. Also, children should be kept away from pipes, drains and other openings in and around the pool as safety measures.
Create safety pool rules
As the legal guardian, you are responsible for the safety of your kids and other children who might access your pool. Therefore, you can create safety rules that can help you control the kids and any other guest who might use the pool. Some of the rules you can institute include:
- No pushing
- No accessing the pool without permission
- No diving
- Prohibit running or playing near or in the pool
- Don’t allow intoxicated guests (even if they are adults) in or near the pool
- No eating or using electronic devices in/around the pool
- Everyone should take swimming lessons before accessing the pool
- In case of an accident, get help quick
If you are considering installing a fence around your in-ground pool, there are numerous factors that come into play. To do it right, check with your local building inspector before you purchase any materials or have the fence installed. This is vital because the inspector will verify whether the fence meets the local safety codes. For instance, the location and the number of gates in your pool fence are mainly based on optimum accessibility to the pool area. However, the inspector might have a different opinion or suggestion depending on where you live, the size of the pool, and the type of fence to be installed among other factors. Hence, seeking professional advice, expertise and/or opinion is highly recommended.
The Safest And Strongest Pool Fence