Pool Safety Barriers
Pool safety barriers are one of the most important factors in preventing accidental drownings. While there are many other factors, the goal of this article is to explain the highlights of pool safety barriers.
It is best to use dedicated pool fencing a minimum of 4 feet in height (5 feet in some jurisdictions) on all four sides of the pool. The fencing should not be any closer than 20-inches to the edge of the pool, but a minimum of 24-inches would be better. This is to ensure someone could pull themselves out of the pool to prevent drowning.
There should be no opening greater than 4-inches, to prevent a small child from squeezing through the opening. No opening greater than 1.25-inches or horizontal slats that could act as a step.
Gates should open away from the pool and be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be at least 54-inches from the bottom of the gate. If less than 54-inches then the latch should be on the pool side of the gate at least 3-inches from the top of the gate.
If there is no dedicated pool fencing or the home’s wall structure acts as a barrier then the following considerations should be made.
- Perimeter gates should open away from the backyard and be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be on the backyard side and at least 3-inches from the top of the gate.
- Windows and doors leading to the pool area should have UL 2017 compliant alarms installed. The alarms should be installed at least 54-inches from ground level to be out of reach of small children.
- If no UL 2017 compliant alarms are installed, then doors and windows should be self-closing and self-latching.
Creating multiple layers of protection can also help improve pool safety.
The following are additional resources for more details on Pool Safety Barrier Requirements:
It is important to note that local pool safety requirements may differ and should be investigated with your local municipality.