What You Need to Know About Pool Fences
You’re ready to take the plunge and get a pool this summer. But did you know that you will also need a fence around it? City building ordinances have fencing requirements for any structure intended for swimming or recreational bathing that contains water more than 24 inches deep. This includes in-ground, above-ground, and on-ground swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.
While ordinances will vary by city, they will all have regulations regarding fence height and placement listed in their building codes. These requirements will help provide a successful barrier that prevents a child from gaining access to your pool accept when supervising adults are present.
So what considerations do you need to know? In this blog post, we will highlight the guidelines developed by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for preventing a child from getting over, under, or through your fence as well as our recommendations for what type of fences work best for pools.
To prevent a child from getting over your fence, the recommendation is that the top of the fence be at least 48 inches above the ground (some states may require the height to be 60 inches). The guidelines also recommend eliminating top and bottom rails in order to reduce the potential for a child to use them for climbing. If you want a fence constructed with horizontal rails along with your vertical boards or pickets, additional guidelines exist for the placement of both the rails and boards.
Guidelines also exist for where your fence starts in relation to the ground to prevent a child from getting under the fence. It is recommended that maximum clearance at the bottom of the fence should not exceed 4 inches above the ground. If the fence rests on a non-solid surface like grass or gravel, that measurement should not exceed 2 inches.
SPACE BETWEEN VERTICAL BOARDS
Preventing a child from getting through your fence is done by minimizing the space between the vertical boards, pickets, or mesh. The spacing between these boards should be less than 4”. If there are any decorative cutouts in the fence, or if you’re installing chain link fence around your pool, the space within the cutouts should not exceed 1 ¾”. If you want a fence constructed with horizontal rails along with your vertical boards, additional guidelines exist for the placement of both the rails and boards.
Your fence should include a gate which restricts access to the pool. The gate needs to be self-closing and self-locking as well as open out from the pool. There are also guidelines for placement of self-latching devices and the space between the gate and the fence to prevent a child from reaching over or through the opening to release the lock.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how to protect your pool, it’s time to discuss what types of fences are available. Peerless Fence recommends selecting a fence that not only gives you a clear view from your home or yard, but also provides a safe and secure barrier. Plus, it needs to withstand the additional effects of the chemicals used to maintain your pool. Also make sure to check with your neighborhood homeowner’s association (if you have one) to see which fence types are approved for installation.
All of the fence types below are available from us in various heights along with drop horizontal rails which will meet building code requirements. We suggest confirming with your city on exact specifications.
Aluminum is the most popular choice for pool fences since it provides an affordable ornamental design to your pool. Available in a variety of styles, grades, and colors through our partnership with ActiveYards, there is an option suited for every budget.
Composite fences will simulate a wood fence with less maintenance and are available in a variety of colors and woodgrains through our relationship with Trex and Simtek.
Known for its strength and security, steel fences give you the distinctive look of a wrought iron fence but without the maintenance. It is a great choice if you are looking for an upgrade from aluminum for a sturdy, dependable way to secure your pool.
Vinyl fences are another option when you aren’t looking for an ornamental look or want to simulate a wood fence with less maintenance. Available in a variety of styles, grades, and colors through our relationship with ActiveYards, there is an option suited for every budget, including 3 woodgrain styles.
Peerless Fence offers a variety of self-closing gates to match your fence type, style, size, and height. In addition, we can make your gate more ornate with straight or arched gates (scalloped is also available in select styles).
We also offer several styles of self-locking devices to secure your fence. For advanced security, we offer the world’s first and only integrated safety gate latch and alarm from D&D Technologies. This device includes a visual and audible alarm that sounds when the gate is unlatched as well as a rekeyable lock for extra security and convenience. Learn more at D&D Technologies.
WHERE PEELESS FENCE CAN HELP
Peerless Fence has been providing pool fencing to our customers in the Midwest for over 55 years. We will help you design a fence that will not only add curb appeal to your house but will meet the requirements for making your pool safe and secure. Protecting your pool is not only a good idea, but is also one that can save a life. Learn more about our Pool Solutions.