There is no better way to cool off from the heat of summer than in the ocean, or even better, your own private pool. However, if your home has a pool and it’s lacking a child-proof fence it could be disastrous. Having a fence around your private pool is a safety measure you should have to prevent kids from finding their way to the pool unsupervised. You may find your insurance or a law may just require you to have one if you don’t. So, what kind of fence should you choose?
Believe it or not, there are no standard requirements as the United States does not have a federal law at this time regulating a pool fence. Instead, they are managed at local city and state level. In addition, there are exemptions that are built into those local and state laws that you should be aware of. For example, in some areas if children are over a certain age you don’t have to install a fence at all. However, we don’t recommend that as safety should be your number one priority when it comes to responsible pool ownership.
The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that the height of the fence be 4ft or taller and be constructed in a fashion that children are not able to climb. Gate access should always open outward from the pool area and have a self-latching and self-closing feature.
Vertical Fencing: Fencing that is vertical and made of either wood, aluminum, wrought iron, and vinyl are popular choices. When choosing a material pick one that will not damage easily. Also, keep the spaces between each vertical bar no more than 4 inches wide.
Removable Mesh Fencing: Another popular fencing option is the removable mesh pool fencing due to it being easy to move. However, safety should still be of top concern. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has set standards for this type of fencing and you want to make sure you choose one that meets those standards.
Additional Safety Features
In addition to a fence, there are a few other safety features you should consider when it comes to pool safety such as:
- Underwater motion swimming pool alarm.
- Door alarms to warn you of someone leaving the home and entering the yard.
- An automatic rigid pool cover.
Here in NJ swimming pools are covered under the New Jersey State Bathing Code. Here are some rules and regulations you should be aware of:
A permit is required for any structure that holds greater than 24 inches of water and all pool areas must be fenced in. The entrance to the pool area must be located at the shallow end of the swimming pool.
Ladders and stairs must be provided on all pools more than two feet deep.
We would encourage you to review the full code and any regulations your county may have as well. Enjoy the rest of summer and stay cool.
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