Product Guide: Pool Fence
Many locations across the United States require pool enclosures to reduce the risk of accidents and drownings. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as many as 350 children under the age of five die in drowning-related accidents. Nationally, drowning is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five.
These numbers can significantly decrease if all pool owners use proper fencing around their pools – particularly if there is a potential of young children being around the pool. Even if you don’t have children, remember that there is always a chance of trespassers crossing onto your property – particularly in hot summer months when a pool looks enticing! Keep your neighbors’ and their children’s safety in mind.
Aluminum pool fence is as beautiful as it is necessary!
Two fences are recommended for pool safety: a perimeter fence and a fence between the house and the pool. ALL fences should be built at least 48” above grade, measured on the side of the barrier that faces away from the pool, with a maximum clearance of 4” between the bottom of the fence and the ground. No young child should be able to go under, climb over, or go through a fence with these specifications.
Ornamental, privacy and spaced picket, mini-mesh chain-link and access gates are all materials typically used for pool fencing. Gates to the pool should swing out, and should be self-closing and self-latching, as well as be 48 inches above grade.
- Ornamental fences – The width of vertical pockets should vary from 5/8 of an inch to one inch. When the horizontal members are less than 45 inches apart, spacing of the vertical pickets not exceed one and ¾ an inch in width. When the distance between the top and bottom horizontal members is 45 inches or greater, spacing between the vertical pickets should not allow passage of a four-inch diameter sphere.
- Privacy and spaced picket fences – When the distance between support stringers is less than 45 inches, the stringers should located on the pool side of the fence; spacing of vertical fence boards should not exceed one and ¾ of an inch in width. Where there are decorative cutouts, spacing within the cutouts should not exceed one and ¾ of an inch in width.
- Chain-Link fences – The diamond mesh should not be larger than one and ¼ of an inch to prohibit climbing. If a larger mesh size is used, slats should be installed in the fabric to reduce the openings to no more than one and ¾ of an inch.
- Access gates – If the latching device is less than 54 inches from the bottom of the gate, the release mechanism should be located three inches below the top of the gate on the side facing the pool. If the fence is 60 inches or higher, the latching device should be installed at least 54 inches from the bottom of the gate. The gate and fence should have no opening greater than a half of an inch within 18 inches of the latch release.
Local building codes should always be consulted for the minimum fence requirements in that area