Need To Knows For Pool Safety and Fencing

We all know the risks of having a pool in our backyards, but many consumers do not know the proper safety and codes to a proper pool fence installation. Pools are always welcomed additions to a home. But with all the fun and excitement, it is important to secure your pool area with proper safety fencing. You can never be too careful, and in certain areas, fencing is part of the uniform coding required for pool safety.

There are certain types of fencing that are suitable and meet nationally recognized Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA) pool safety codes. Some of the key elements of these codes include but are not limited to:

  • When installed, pool fencing should not exceed 5” from the bottom of the fence to the ground
  • Entrance and exit gates attached to the fencing should open away from the pool
  • Entrances and exits should be self-latching and self-closing
  • Fencing should be at least 5 feet high

It is important to check with your local governing bodies to make sure you’re following building codes. Safety Barrier Guidelines For Residential Pools is another useful resource brought to you by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Some other safety equipment worth consideration includes:

Pool Alarms – alert pool owners when unauthorized entry has been made to their pool area. Furthermore, there are underwater designs that notify owners when the actual pool has been entered.

Pool Covers – There are numerous pool cover materials available to secure your pool from unauthorized entry. Powered safety covers protect against manual retraction, adding an extra layer of security and prevention.

Housing Entry – If your pool area is connected to your house, securing the entrance and exit points is important, especially if kids are present. Make sure all doorways and access points have locking mechanisms.

For more information please utilize these resources:

FENCING:
ASTM F 1908-08 Standard Guide for Fences for Residential Outdoor Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, and Spas: http://www.astm.org/Standards/F1908.htm

ASTM F 2286-05 Standard Design and Performance Specifications for Removable Mesh Fencing for Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs, and Spas: http://www.astm.org/ Standards/F2286.htm

COVERS:
ASTM F 1346-91 Standard Performance Specification for Safety Covers and Labeling Requirements for All Covers for Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs: http://www.astm.org/Standards/F1346.htm

Note: ASTM Standards are available for a fee. You may want to contact a pool contractor.

STANDARDS:
ASTM Standards: Contact ASTM online at: http://www.astm.org/CONTACT/ index.html.
UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Relevant Pool and Spa Standards http://www.ul.com. Look for Life Safety and Security Product