The Importance of a Swimming Pool Safety Fence

by Pool Builders on 08-01-2010 in Articles

There is no greater pain than to see young children die in tragic accidents; yet, every year around the world, hundreds of children die and many thousands have near-death experiences and suffer severe injuries in residential swimming pools.

In studies conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and similar groups, researchers found that 2/3 of the victims are between 1 and 3 years of age. In most of these cases, parents were present supervising children at the time of the accident. This does not always point to a lack of supervision on the part of the parents. Generally children were seen in other places, such as the garden or porch just before the pool accidents. The vast majority of the cases took place when the young child was unnoticed, wandered toward and entered the pool in a short time-frame.

Experts believe these accidents happen because young children are very curious and lack a realistic sense of danger. Once a child gets into trouble in the pool, it would be very difficult for him or her to get attention since screaming or splashing may often go unheard. The report and many others have concluded that the best safety mechanism is a safety fence around the pool. Swimming pool safety fences are an effective option because they offer comprehensive and continuous or "passive" security, and do not require an adult to be present at all times to keep children away from the pool area.

Fences are especially important for in-ground pools. The recommended height of a pool fence is a minimum of 48 inches. This height prevents young children from climbing over to access the pool area. The barrier must also be free of significant openings underneath or in-between the barrier links. Above-ground pools do not usually require a fence, but a fence can be used to enclose entrance points (steps or a stepladder) in order to provide maximum protection.

There are many different types of swimming pool safety fences available including aluminum, chain link, glass, mesh, vinyl, wood and wrought iron. They also come in plenty of different colors and designs, so they can be customized to blend in nicely with their surroundings and add to the beauty of the pool area. Fences made of materials such as chain link, aluminum and mesh require less maintenance, while materials such as wood or glass can be more attractive and decorative. Therefore, choosing a swimming pool safety fence really depends on a person's taste and budget. However, at the end of the day, the most important factor is that the fence is effective in preventing accidents.

An added advantage is that a pool fence can be a temporary structure. This allows owners to remove the fence once their children and visitors' children have reached an age where they are capable of taking care of themselves near the pool. Owners must be aware of local regulations that may require them to keep the barrier up regardless of the presence of children in the owner's home.

Fences can provide effective safety against accidents, and they can be easily dismantled once they are no longer needed.

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