Installing a fence around your swimming pool is a smart security measure that prevents kids from having unsupervised access. In many areas, the law and your insurance company may also require it. But how do you know what kind of fence to pick?
Here’s where things get tricky.
There Are No Standard Requirements
The U.S. does not have a federal pool fence law. Instead, pool barriers are regulated at the state and local level.
Even if your pool is exempt from local or state fencing laws, your insurance company might require it.
So, what to choose?
Follow These Recommendations to Be Safe
Here’s a list of features every pool fence should have, based on legal requirements across the states and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Height: Some areas require a four-foot fence; the CPSC recommends four feet or taller.
- Structure: The fence must be impossible for children to climb.
- Type: Permanent fencing is ideal because of durability.
- Gate: All states require gates with direct access to the pool or spa and require them to be self-closing and self-latching.
- Materials: Structures can be made from a wide range of stuff including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. However, make sure the material you pick is not easily susceptible to damage.
The 3 Most Popular Types of Fences
1. Removable mesh pool fencing: Many consumers like this option because it’s an easy-to-move transparent barrier. But when it comes to safety, don’t skimp. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has set a standard for fences like these that is recognized worldwide. Here in the U.S., the standard has the approval of the American Society for Testing and Materials. So if you go with a mesh barrier, make sure it meets or exceeds the ASTM requirements. In many areas, this is also mandatory by law.
2. Vertical bar fencing: Structures can be made from a wide range of materials including wood, vinyl, aluminum, and wrought iron. However, make sure the material you pick isn't easily susceptible to damage. In most states, the space between the vertical bars can’t be more than four inches wide.
3. Glass panel fencing: They are durable and safe because they’re made from tempered glass. Plus, because they're transparent, they don’t detract from your pool’s beauty.
Add Additional Protection
Keep in mind: Many states require layers of protection in addition to fencing.
Examples of additional layers of security include:
- Automatic rigid pool covers
- An underwater motion swimming pool alarm
- Rescue equipment
But who do you contact in your area to get the skinny on swimming pool safety? Since every state and county sets up their agencies differently, try contacting the following departments in your area (the titles can vary):
- Building Code Department
- Department of Health
- Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
How did we find stuff? We Googled "swimming pool safety" along with the name of our county and state.
Related: Tips to Prevent Burglaries