Having a pool right in your backyard is one of the most fun and fulfilling things, especially if you have kids. With such convenient access to a swimming pool, children can cool down during the summer while having fun.
If you are thinking of getting a residential pool, you might want to consider opting for an above-ground pool instead of an in-ground one. This is a more flexible structure that lets you remove the pool in case you move or want to store it away after some time. Plus, you can always sell it and buy a smaller or bigger one, depending on your needs.
One thing you should consider when planning your backyard above-ground pool is the safety standards and regulations imposed by local authorities. Many cities across the United States require building a fence for both above-ground and in-ground pools. Not sure whether yours requires above-ground pool fencing? Here’s what you need to know.
Do You Need an Above-Ground Pool Fence?
Ordinances differ depending on the state, county, or city. The key to knowing whether you are required to build a safety fence around your above-ground pool is to do your research. You may be able to find this information on the internet. You might also want to get in touch with your local officials for more details.
Despite cities having different regulations regarding residential above-ground pools, it might be best if you use fencing for practical reasons. Remember that while fences offer an aesthetic value, their main purpose is for protection and safety.
Reasons to Place a Fence Around an Above Ground Pool
Fences are multipurpose, making them a vital part of every residential pool. This is why many homeowners are opting to install them whether they are required or not. Still not sure whether to install a fence around your above-ground pool? Check out these essential reasons.
For parents, the primary reason to have a pool is so their kids can play in their backyard while cooling down, especially during summer. What you need to remember is that tragedy can happen right at your doorstep.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is one of the most common causes of death for children one to four years old. This is also the second highest cause of fatal injury due to accidents for children one to fourteen years old.
Imagine a toddler accidentally falling into an unfenced pool while no adult is around. This can lead to unpleasant events that are irredeemable. Moreover, keep in mind that even adults who are skilled swimmers can still drown, so children can, too, even if they know how to swim.
So, as important as the children’s enjoyment is, you want to make sure that they are safe when playing in the above-ground pool. Fences can help you minimize the chances of these untoward incidents from happening by restricting children from the poolside, especially when unattended.
Protection for Pets
Some people feel more comfortable having pets around their children while near a pool. If you have seen one of those videos of a dog saving a child from drowning, then you know what we’re talking about.
The problem is, that not all pets can swim. In fact, some even have an aversion to water, perhaps because they feel chilly when wet or have other unpleasant experiences. Because of this, you cannot expect a pet to save your child’s life.
Even if you have a pet but no kids, you need to protect your fur baby from accidentally drowning. The best way to do this is to install a fence to prevent them from getting near the edge of the pool.
Of course, you still need to watch over your pet while they play outside near a pool, but this definitely lowers the chances of them accidentally falling in.
Minimizes Hazards for Adults
As mentioned, even adults who can swim can drown, fatally or non-fatally. Now, imagine going home late and tired or drunk with your unfenced above-ground pool. If your judgment or coordination skills are impaired, you can easily fall in.
You want to avoid this from happening and this is why you should build a fence around your above-ground swimming pool.
What Should You Consider When Choosing a Pool Fence?
Now that you know the main reasons why you should get pool fencing for your above-ground facility, you might be wondering where to start. The good news is that there are international and national organizations that provide guidelines and standards for pool safety.
You can check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) guidelines for residential pools, which talk about different safety measures such as barriers. According to the CPSC, barriers offer an increased layer of protection for children, especially in case there is a lack of adult attendance. This includes fences, which should be at least four-feet high, and other similar measures.
The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) also offers an American National Standard for Above-Ground or On-Ground Pools. According to the PHTA, any fencing should be mounted on top of the pool, with a minimum height of three feet.
Spacing in between pickets or railings should be small to prevent any object bigger than four inches from passing. This set of guidelines also requires fences to be 65% open to allow adults to see into the pool. This means that the fencing material and structure should be see-through enough to allow adult supervision.
Aside from these practical factors, you also need to look at the more personally favorable side of things. You might want to opt for a fencing installation that you can easily remove after the summer when the pool is empty. This is also a great idea if you plan to move houses and you want to bring your above-ground pool and fence with you.
Best Options for Above-Ground Pool Fence
Knowing what to look for in your pool fence is only half the battle. You also want to make sure that you choose the right one based on these criteria, while also getting your preferred appearance and function. If you need a guide on which types of fencing to choose, here are your best choices.
Vinyl Pool Fencing
If you are looking for an extremely durable and weather-proof option, you might want to go for a vinyl pool fence. This is preferred by many because of its heavy-duty material that needs little maintenance.
What you need to know is that when service providers say vinyl fencing, they are actually referring to vinyl-coated steel. So, you get all the advantages of a steel fence with the weather-proof properties of vinyl, making it a pretty strong contender.
Just keep in mind that this option rarely allows you to see through the material, which is important if you want to keep an eye on your pool so that you can jump in anytime your kid, pet, or fellow adult is in trouble.
Aluminum Pool Fencing
Aluminum pool fencing is your choice if you are looking for flexibility, affordability, and durability. This is because it is made of a strong metal material, coated in waterproof paint or finishing. Moreover, you can have this type of fence in different designs, so you do not have to worry about appearance.
This is perfect for above-ground pools because its best height is four feet. However, if you require something taller, then this is not a great choice because its integrity can become compromised as you increase the height.
Chain Link Fencing
This is another popular choice for above-ground and in-ground pools because it is not only cheap but also functional. However, the main disadvantage of this is that it is pretty flimsy compared to aluminum and steel. Moreover, it has bigger holes that can serve as openings for objects that can damage the pool.
Mesh Pool Fencing
If you are looking for a cost-effective, functional, durable, and convenient option, then you should go for a mesh pool fence. It is made of a light material that is easy to install and is see-through. Moreover, it has small holes to minimize entry of possibly dangerous objects.
Another great thing about it is that it looks minimally obstructive, which lets you appreciate the view of your above-ground pool better. Plus, you can detach this fence pretty easily, so you can bring it to your next home or sell it to purchase a bigger or smaller one. It is also weather-proof for durability.
What you need to know is that the mesh material is not as strong as metal ones. So you need to be careful with these to avoid damage. The good news is it is so cheap to repair or replace by yourself or with the help of a professional.
Your future above-ground pool and be the safest water-based playground for your kids with the help of adult supervision and a fence. Whether your municipality requires fencing, installing one is the best decision for any swimming pool owner.