Pool Fence Safety Guidelines For Homeowners

by Pool Builders on 04-23-2011 in Articles

A pool fence is a type of fence installed around pools to prevent young children and non-swimmers from accidentally drowning. It is one of the most important safety features a pool owner must have. Most states have guidelines informing homeowners of the specifications of fencing around pools. Aside from safety, these fences offer privacy and protection for your home.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that about 300 children under the age of five drown in swimming pools each year. Many more are hospitalized due to near-drowning incidents. These accidents prompted the CPSC to develop pool barrier guidelines that are used throughout the country. They advise that the best way to reduce the chance of a child drowning in residential pools is for homeowners to install and maintain fences that will prevent children from having access to unattended pools.

There are a variety of fences that can be used around a pool. Homeowners must decide what kind of material they prefer as well as choose a design and height that appeals to them. It is important to keep in mind that the pool fence you choose should serve as a barrier to keep outsiders from going through, over, or under the fence to gain access to your pool.

Privacy fences are a popular choice among homeowners with pools. Vinyl panels or wooden planks placed very close together make it difficult for children to slide through, under, or over into your yard. Because this kind of fence is tall and has very few gaps, it is an excellent barrier to people trying to gain access to your pool.

Not only does a privacy fence provide security, it also blocks the view of the pool from outsiders looking in. Privacy fencing allows consumers to enjoy being outside, without the prying eyes of neighbors or a passer-by. It also helps keep out animals who may want to wander into your yard for a swim or drink.

For a more ornamental look, some homeowners choose an iron or aluminum pool fence. These fences can be designed to work as effective barriers to children and other non-swimmers. The homeowner will work closely with the fence designer to ensure that the height and distance from the ground is such that a child could not squeeze under or climb over the barrier. The openings in the fence should not allow a sphere 4-inch in diameter to pass through.

No matter what kind of fence you decide to install, remember that the easiest way for people to access your yard is through the gate. If you have a pool, it is imperative that you use a locking device on your gate at all times. A self-closing and a self-latching gate is the best choice because there is a smaller chance that it will be left open accidentally. For maximum security, consider installing the latch near the top of the gate where small children will be unable to reach.

The requirements discussed here are basic guidelines that should be followed to improve the safety of residential pools. Local governments may have specific ordinances that need to be followed. A professional fence builder should be familiar with local regulations and requirements in your area.

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