Last Updated on June 11, 2019

According to the Swimming Pool Safety Act of the California law, every swimming pool built or remodeled after 1st January 1998 was supposed to be surrounded by one or more safety barriers.

Pool Fencing Law in California 2019

The definition of terms as used in this Act

  • In this act, a swimming pool or a pool is defined as any structure with water over eighteen inches deep and built for the purposes of swimming or recreational bathing. The swimming pool can be in or above the ground. However, structures such as spas and wading pools are also included in this definition.
  • The term public swimming pool in this article refers to any pool that can be used by the public or the members and guests of a private club, regardless of whether it is free or paid for. Nevertheless, a swimming pool that is found in the compound of a private single-family home is not public.
  • An exit alarm is any device that produces a loud continuous alarm sound when the pool area is accessed. Usually, these alarms go off once the door or the window to that swimming pool area is opened or left open. The alarms can either be electrical or battery-operated.
  • An enclosure could be a fence or wall that separates the swimming pool from the rest of the home compound.
  • Another term used is the “approved safety pool cover.” It refers to a safety pool cover, either manual or electrical, that has met and complied with all the performance standards outlined by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
  • ANSI/APSP performance standard refers to any standard that is permitted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Apart from being approved, the rule must also be published by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP)
  • A suction outlet is a structure that allows water to flow to the recirculating pump. The object can either be at the bottom or on the sides of the pool.

Advantages of having a safety barrier

The Swimming Pool Safety Act lists the following as some of the reasons why parents should install a safety barrier in any swimming pool around the home compound:

  • Four-sided pool fences built near the pool perimeter prevents your children from getting close to the water, thus ensuring their safety.
  • Installing a perimeter pool fence around your home ensures the safety of your neighbor’s children, but not your own.

The drowning prevention safety features approved by the California law

  • The Swimming Pool Act of the California law advises parents to ensure that pool fence gates and bared ladders are above the reach of young children. Gates should also remain closed when nobody is swimming.
  • Spas and wading pools are not different from the normal-sized swimming pools, in terms of the danger posed. Therefore, they should also have an enclosure.
  • According to the California law, you are allowed to install pool safety covers, exit alarms on the door, removable mesh pool fencing, latching devices on the home doors and any other barrier that is accredited by the building officials in your area.
  • You are supposed to install water motion alarm systems to alert you once the water is accidentally interfered with. The alarms’ on and off switch should be located high enough where children cannot reach it.

Characteristics of the enclosure

  • Any gate that closes itself or that has a self-latching fixture should be placed sixty inches above the ground.
  • The closure should not have any outside cavities that could help the little children aged five years and below to climb over
  • No enclosure should be more than 60 inches high.
  • The gaps in the fence should not allow anything more than four inches wide to pass through.

Requirements of a swimming pool or a spa

  • A building permit has to be issued before any swimming pool, or spa has been constructed. These structures must also meet specific requirements.
  • They should be equipped with a suction outlet to allow the circulation of water through the pool. These outlets should be covered with anti-entrapment grates as stated by the performance standards of the ANSI/APSP.
  • The pump in the pool should have at least two suction outlets, three feet away from each other.
  • The swimming pool should also have an effective circulation system that can provide sufficient water.