Swimming pools are a great source of fun, especially in the summer but they can also become the scene of an accident without proper precautions. This is why public and resort pools impose lots of guidelines for people in the pool and within the swimming area. 

Aside from rules you need to abide by if you are planning to go to a public or resort pool, you should also be mindful of fencing rules and regulations, especially if you own a residential pool or are planning to build one.

The thing is, different states have varying laws and regulations about these amenities. Wondering whether you need to get a pool fence in your state, or what guidelines you need to follow when building barriers? Keep reading.

Does Every State Require Pool Fences?

The most important thing about pool fence rules and regulations is that not every state has one. For example, states that do not have such laws include Alaska, Colorado, and Delaware, just to name a few.

What you should know is that while state laws do not cover pool barriers, some cities or municipalities have measures that enforce fencing rules. An example of this is the city of Denver, Colorado.

The key is to find out if your state has pool fence laws and the specific guidelines you need to follow. States like Nevada, California, and Arizona have laws that require you to build a barricade around the swimming area.

The main goal is to keep vulnerable individuals like children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and animals safe, so you might want to install pool fences regardless of laws. Plus, these structures not only keep it a safe place, but also provides privacy, improve functionality, and enhance convenience.

6 Things You Should Consider When Getting Pool Fences

  • Pool Type

Your pool type is essential in determining the dynamics of the pool barrier you need to install. Relevant codes have varying recommendations for on-ground storable residential pools and permanent in-ground ones.

  • Placement

Your barrier should be placed at a safe distance from the pool and away from places that could put people in danger.

  • Fence Type

You should also consider the kind of barrier you prefer because there are essential considerations you should remember. There are specific guidelines for solid, those made up of horizontal pieces, chain links, mesh, and latticework.

  • Fence Height

Another thing you should be mindful of is the height. Building a fence that is too low enables children to climb over, while anything too high has the risk of falling over and becoming a hazard, especially during strong winds.

  • Gaps and Holes

Aside from preventing children to climb over, you also want to discourage them from going through the fence. This is why gaps or holes should not be big enough for them to enter.

  • Accessories

You should avoid adding accessories that protrude because they can serve as handholds and footholds that children can use to climb over.

  • Gates

Your barrier gate should not pose a danger to anyone in the pool. Plus, it should not allow unauthorized individuals to enter or exit the area without supervision.

General Pool Fence Guidelines You Should Know

So, what should you do to make your pool area a safer place for all? Your best bet is to get a swimming pool fence that complies with your state guidelines. In fact, building one even without being required to can be beneficial to you as a residential pool owner.

Now sure what to do? The Safety Barrier Guidelines for Residential Pools by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a good place to start. Here are the general guidelines that you should follow when building pool fences.

  • Fences Should Surround the Pool

The fence should be a minimum of four feet, but five feet and above is the most ideal height. It is also preferable that it surrounds all four sides of the pool as it lets you monitor the swimming area better.

However, you can use your house’s wall as one side of the fencing. Just make sure to place additional layers of protection such as door alarms and security cameras so you can be alerted when a child, elderly, person with a disability, or pet enters the area without supervision.

  • Fences Should Be Placed in a Safe Place

According to the CPSC, the barrier should be positioned away from the pool to give space for swimmers to climb out of the pool safely. This way, all sides of the pool are free from obstruction.

It should also be placed away from any structure, object, or equipment that can enable children and animals to go over to the swimming area.

Moreover, it should not have protrusions that can help children climb over the barrier. This includes parts and accessories that stick out enough that they can be used as handholds or footholds.

  • Fences Should Not Have Big Openings

Any openings should be small and provide limited space for animals and children to pass through. For fences with vertical parts, the spacing and cutouts should be a maximum of 1 ¾ inches only.

The same measurement applies to openings of mesh, chain links, and latticework fences. Any holds, cutouts, and openings should be less than four inches in diameter.

You should also be mindful of the gap between the fence and the ground or the top of an above-ground pool. For in-ground pools, the clearance should be four inches for solid surfaces and two inches for non-solid surfaces. Fences around above-ground pools should also be a maximum of four inches.

  • Fences Should Have Child-Protective Gates

Lastly, the barrier should only be accessible using a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool. The latch should also be out of reach of children.

The Bottom Line

State laws regarding pool fences may vary, but if you want to make your residential amenity safe for everyone, your best bet is to install one. Just make it a point to ask state or city authorities about the specifics to ensure that your pool fences are compliant with the rules and regulations.