Last Updated on May 13, 2024

Pool fence requirements in California have gotten a lot stricter in recent years. This is because the state wants to make sure that pools are as safe as possible and that there are fewer drowning accidents. The laws about pool fences get updated every so often to make sure they stay effective. It’s really important to know these rules before you build a new pool or make changes to an existing one. By understanding and following the pool gate requirements in California, you can make sure your pool area is safe and looks nice too.

California Pool Fence Regulations

California law requires that any new or remodeled pool or spa must incorporate not just one, but two approved safety features to be in compliance. Pool owners must select at least two of the following safety measures:

  • A Pool Fence: The fence must be at least 60 inches tall and completely surround the pool, effectively isolating it from the house. It should include a self-closing, self-latching gate that opens outward from the pool, with the latch positioned at least 60 inches above the ground. The fence design must prevent a 4-inch diameter sphere from passing through any gaps, and it should be free of any features that would facilitate climbing.
  • Safety Covers: Either an approved pool cover or a self-locking spa cover designed for safety.
  • Removable Mesh Fencing: This must comply with ASTM Specifications F2286 standards, including a self-closing, self-latching, and key-lockable gate.
  • Exit Alarms: Installation of alarms on any doors leading directly to the pool area.
  • Self-Closing Doors: Any direct access doors to the pool must be self-closing and equipped with a self-latching device positioned over 54 inches high.
  • Pool Alarms: Installing an alarm in the pool that activates when someone enters the water, in accordance with ASTM Standard F2208.
  • Other Approved Safety Devices: Any additional device that meets or exceeds the safety standards set by California pool fencing regulations.


Keep in mind that the details in this California pool fence regulations guide might not match up exactly with what your town or city requires for pool fences. Different places can have their own rules, so it’s really important to check with your local building codes to make sure you’re doing everything right. This way, you won’t run into any trouble and you’ll know your pool fence meets all the necessary safety standards.

Who Needs to Comply?

In California, almost every pool has to have a fence. This means if your pool is in the ground, above the ground, portable, or even if it’s an inflatable pool, and it was made or majorly updated after 2007 with more than 18 inches of water in it, you need to put a fence around it. This rule is for all kinds of pools and even includes hot tubs.

Starting with the Pool Fence

When you’re thinking about putting in a pool, you usually think about size and location. Not only because it’s a legal requirement but also because it plays a crucial role in safety. If you plan your pool area with the fence in mind, you can make sure it fits in nicely with your house and yard, making everything look nice together.

Consider Professional Installation

While it’s important to understand the rules for pool fences, getting them installed properly matters just as much. Hiring a pro just like us to do the job can be a smart move. Your local dealer knows all about local rules and can make sure your fence follows them. They’ve done this kind of work before, so they know how to do it right.

When you hire a local installer, they’ll check out your place and suggest the best fence for you. They’ll make sure it’s put in the right way and meets all the safety rules. You won’t have to worry about mistakes or problems popping up later on.

Sure, hiring a pro might cost you a bit more, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind. You’ll know your fence is solid and safe, and that’s what matters most when it comes to keeping your pool area secure.

Keeping Your Pets Safe: A Reminder for Pet Owners

While much of the focus is on child safety around pools, it’s essential to consider our furry companions too. Pool fences aren’t just for children – they play a crucial role in protecting pets from potential dangers. Here’s why it’s important to prioritize pet safety:

Just like children, pets can inadvertently wander into the pool area and find themselves in harm’s way. A sturdy pool fence acts as a barrier, preventing pets from accessing the pool unsupervised and reducing the risk of accidents. Dogs and cats, are susceptible to drowning if they fall into the pool and are unable to swim to safety.

Maintaining Your Pool Fence

Once your pool fence is up, it’s not a “set it and forget it” kind of deal. Regular checks are important to make sure it stays strong and safe. Here are some easy tips to help you keep an eye on your fence:

  • Check for Damage: Take a walk around your fence every once in a while. Look for any cracks, breaks, or loose parts. If you spot anything, get it fixed right away.
  • Watch for Wear and Tear: Keep an eye out for signs of wear, like rust or fading. This could mean your fence needs some TLC to stay in good shape.
  • Inspect for Gaps: Make sure there are no gaps in your fence where someone could slip through. Check that the gate closes properly and that there are no spaces big enough for a kid or pet to squeeze through.

By doing these simple checks regularly, you can catch any problems early and keep your pool area safe for everyone.

Drowning Statistics

  • Drowning is a Leading Cause of Death: In the United States, drowning is a significant cause of death, particularly among children ages 1-4 and males. Understanding the risks and taking preventive measures is crucial to reducing the incidence of drowning-related accidents.
  • Nonfatal Drowning Can Result in Serious Consequences: Nonfatal drowning incidents can lead to long-term health problems and costly hospital stays. Even if a person survives a drowning incident, they may experience brain damage or permanent disability.
  • Who is at Risk: Certain populations, including children, males, and individuals with seizure disorders or certain medical conditions, have a higher risk of drowning. It’s essential to take extra precautions to protect these vulnerable groups from water-related accidents.
  • Common Risk Factors: Not being able to swim, missing or ineffective pool fencing, lack of close supervision, location of water bodies, not wearing life jackets, and alcohol or drug use are common risk factors associated with drowning. Addressing these factors through preventive measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of drowning incidents.
  • Preventive Measures: Participation in formal swimming lessons, proper installation of pool fencing, close supervision of children around water, wearing life jackets during water activities, and avoiding alcohol and drug use can help prevent drowning accidents. It’s important to take proactive steps to ensure water safety for yourself and others, especially in high-risk situations or environments.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Not following California’s pool fence regulations can lead to serious problems. If you don’t meet the rules, you could face penalties or other consequences. This might include getting fined or facing legal action. Plus, if someone gets hurt because your pool fence isn’t up to code, you could be held responsible for their injuries. This could mean having to pay for medical bills or even getting sued.

Not following the rules could also affect your insurance coverage. If something happens and your pool isn’t properly fenced, your insurance might not cover it. This means you’d have to pay for any damages or injuries out of your own pocket. It’s important to understand and follow the regulations to keep everyone safe and avoid these problems.

Beyond the Fence: General Pool Safety Tips

While compliance with California’s pool fencing regulations is a critical step toward ensuring safety, it’s important to remember that risks remain around any body of water. Pool owners are advised to:

  • Verify that their pool fencing complies with their local regulations.
  • Understand that fencing is not a replacement for vigilant adult supervision.
  • Never leave children unattended near water, irrespective of their swimming capabilities.
  • Encourage swimming lessons for children.
  • Consider learning CPR for emergency situations.
  • Display resuscitation instructions near the pool area.
  • Install a “no diving” sign for pools that are too shallow for diving.
  • Keep climbable objects away from the fence.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol near the pool, especially when supervising children.



Updated California Pool Safety Act 2019

Pool Fencing Law In California

SEC. 4.

Section 115922 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:


(a) Except as provided in Section 115925, when a building permit is issued for the construction of a new swimming pool or spa or the remodeling of an existing swimming pool or spa at a private single-family home, the respective swimming pool or spa shall be equipped with at least two of the following seven drowning prevention safety features:

(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa from the private single-family home.

(2) Fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.

(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.

(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”

(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.

(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.

(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

(b) Before the issuance of a final approval for the completion of permitted construction or remodeling work, the local building code official shall inspect the drowning safety prevention features required by this section and, if no violations are found, shall give final approval.


Before the issuance of the final approval for the remodeling or construction of the swimming pool, the local building authority will individually check for the drowning safety prevention measures as needed, and you will be given the final approval if no violations are seen.

Act 115923 (Features of the Fences)

  1. All access gates through the fence should open away from the pool and must be self-closing with a self-latching device that is fitted sixty inches above the floor.
  2. The fence must have a minimum height of sixty inches.
  3. A maximum vertical clearance from the floor to the bottom of the fence of 2 inches.
  4. If there are gaps, it should not allow passage of an object that is more than four inches in diameter.
  5. The outside surface of the pool must be free of cavities, protrusions, or any other physical feature that can serve as a foothold or handhold to a child.


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