Swimming Pool Fence
A Swimming Pool Fence is Required for Greater Safety
An outdoor swimming pool barrier is a physical obstacle that surrounds an outdoor pool so that pool access is limited to adults. “Pool,” in this context, includes outdoor hot tubs and spas. This barrier is often referred to as “pool fencing,” although walls made from brick or stone can be acceptable as well. Children should not be able to get under, over, or through the barrier.
Recently, the Center for Disease Control issued a report suggesting that drowning was the number two leading cause of death in kinds under the age of fourteen. Those are scary statistics, especially if you have an indoor or an outdoor pool. Even if you don’t have children, a drowning death can occur on your property, leaving you open to a lawsuit. As a result, choosing the right pool fence is essential to prevent serious accidents from occurring.
Selecting the right pool fence, though, can be problematic for many. The first step in selecting the right pool fence to meet your needs is to consider the laws in your area. Both states and counties have varying rules regarding pool fencing, and understanding the laws that govern your pool is essential to selecting the right fence.
Once you understand the laws surrounding pool fences in your area, though, the next task is to decide how your fence might look. Pool fences come in a variety of materials. Mesh makes a great temporary fencing material, and metal is chosen by lots of owners for its reliability. Wood offers an unbeatable classic look, while vinyl is often the maintenance free choice of pool owners everywhere. Whichever material you choose, consider the goal of the pool fence. If it’s to keep the neighborhood children out of your pool area, you probably want a fairly strong fencing material. If you just want to keep the dog away from the pool, a mesh might work, but make sure it’s high enough so he can’t climb over.
When you’ve decided on the fencing material itself, it’s time to start thinking about the pool gate. The type of gate you choose will, again, depend on your goals with the fence as a whole. If you have small children, any gate will do, but you may want to ensure that it has a locking mechanism. If you want to keep older children out, a lock is essential on the fence. If, though, you simply desire a classic, traditional fence around your pool, a latch may be sufficient to meet your needs.
The final step in the pool fence process is the installation procedures. If you’re not interested in handling this as a do-it-yourself project, hiring a professional is a great idea. There are several things to remember as you choose the right professional for the job. First, ensure they have handled pool fences in the past for other customers. Second, investigate the depth of their experience with pool fences. Finally, make sure they’re licensed and insured before they ever begin the job. This will help to protect both of you.
A pool fence is essential, and in some cases, it’s required by law. Choosing the right pool fence, though, depends on a number of factors. Talk with other pool owners. Spend some time online with the various pool owner forums before you make your final purchase decisions. Those extra research steps will ensure that you are happy with your final pool fence purchase.
AG105.2 Outdoor swimming pool. An outdoor swimming pool, including an in-ground, above-ground or on-ground pool, hot tub or spa, shall be surrounded by a barrier which shall comply with the following:1. The top of the barrier shall be at least 48 inches (1,219 mm) above grade measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. The maximum vertical clearance between grade and the bottom of the barrier shall be 2 inches (51 mm) measured on the side of the barrier which faces away from the swimming pool. Where the top of the pool structure is above grade, such as an above-ground pool, the barrier may be at ground level, such as the pool structure, or mounted on top of the pool structure. Where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, the maximum vertical clearance between the top of the pool structure and the bottom of the barrier shall be 4 inches (102 mm).2. Openings in the barrier shall not allow passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.3. Solid barriers which do not have openings, such as a masonry or stone wall, shall not contain indentations or protrusions, except for normal construction tolerances and tooled masonry joints.4. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches (1,143 mm), the horizontal members shall be located on the swimming pool side of the fence. Spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width. Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width..5. Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance between the tops of the horizontal members is 45 inches (1,143 mm) or more, spacing between vertical members shall not exceed 4 inches (102 mm). Where there are decorative cutouts within vertical members, spacing within the cutouts shall not exceed 1-3/4 inches (44 mm) in width..6. Maximum mesh size for chain link fences shall be a 2-1/4 inch (57 mm) square unless the fence has slats fastened at the top or the bottom which reduce the openings to not more than
1-1/4 inches (44 mm).7. Where the barrier is composed of diagonal members, such as a lattice fence, the maximum opening formed by the diagonal members shall not be more than 1-3/4 inches (44 mm).8. Access gates shall comply with the requirements of Section AG105.2, Items 1 through 7, and shall be equipped to accommodate a locking device. Pedestrian access gates shall open outward, away from the pool, and shall be self-closing and have a self-latching device. Gates other than pedestrian access gates shall have a self-latching device. Where the release mechanism of the self-latching device is located less than 54 inches (1,372 mm) from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism and openings shall comply with the following:8.1 The release mechanism shall be located on the pool-side of the gate at least 3 inches (76 mm) below the top of the gate; and8.2 The gate and barrier shall have no opening larger than 1/2-inch (13 mm) within 18 inches (457 mm) of the release mechanism.9. Where a wall of a dwelling serves as part of the barrier, one of the following conditions shall be met:9.1. The pool shall be equipped with a powered safety cover in compliance with ASTM F 1346; or9.2. Doors with direct access to the pool through that wall shall be equipped with an alarm which produces an audible warning when the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened. The alarm shall be listed in accordance with UL 2017. The audible alarm shall activate within seven seconds and sound continuously for a minimum of 30 seconds after the door and/or its screen, if present, are opened and be capable of being heard throughout the house during normal household activities. The alarm shall automatically reset under all conditions. The alarm system shall be equipped with a manual means, such as touch pad or switch, to temporarily de-activate the alarm for a single opening. De-activation shall last for not more than 15 seconds. The de-activation switch(es) shall be located at least 54 inches (1,372 mm) above the threshold of the door; or
9.3. Other means of protection, such as self-closing doors with self-latching devices, which are approved by the governing body, shall be acceptable, so long as the degree of protection afforded is not less than the protection afforded by Item 9.1 or 9.2 described above.
10. Where an above-ground pool structure is used as a barrier, or where the barrier is mounted on top of the pool structure, and the means of access is a ladder or steps:
10.1. The ladder or steps shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access; or10.2. The ladder or steps shall be surrounded by a barrier which meets the requirements of Section AG105.2, Items 1 through 9. When the ladder or steps are secured, locked or removed, any opening created shall not allow the passage of a 4-inch-diameter (102 mm) sphere.
AG105.3 Indoor swimming pool. Walls surrounding an indoor swimming pool shall comply with Section AG105.2, Item 9.
AG105.4 Prohibited locations. Barriers shall be located to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb them.AG105.5 Barrier exceptions. Spas or hot tubs with a safety cover, which complies with ASTM F 1346, as listed in Section AG107, shall be exempt from the provisions of this appendix.
The 1994 edition of Australia’s Building Code offers the following suggestions concerning fence gaps:
“If a fence has gaps, they should be of such a size that a young child is prevented from slipping through, but the gaps also need to have dimensions such that any part of a young child’s body cannot be trapped.”
“The CPR signs needs to be durable, and placed in a conspicuous place near the pool. It must detail the procedures necessary to undertake cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”
Swimming Pool Fence Suppliers and Models: