Fence Laws for an Above Ground Pool

By Tony Oldhand
A safety fence around a pool keeps children and animals out.

fence image by EvilGirl from Fotolia.com

An above ground pool without some type of barrier fencing is an invitation to danger, possibly even death. Small children are naturally attracted to "fun" areas, and a swimming pool may look like fun to them. However, few small children know how to swim, and the danger of drowning is great. If you are not at home, then children, animals and even adult strangers may wander into your pool. Because of these dangers, local building departments have developed laws for fences.

Minimum Height

In the State of New York, the minimum height of the fence around a pool has to be at least 48 inches, or 4 feet, above the pool structure (above the water level of a filled pool). Furthermore, the space below the fence (or gap) can be no more than 4 inches.

Enclosed Area

The barrier must completely surround the swimming pool. However, it must not restrict controlled access to the pool. In laymen's terms, it must have a gate to allow permitted entry and exit. If part of a building forms part of the barrier, then the building must have either a pool alarm, a door alarm for doors leading out to the pool, or self-closing doors with self-latching devices.

Latchable Gate

The barrier's gate must be latchable and lockable. The purpose of latchable and lockable is to prevent children and visitors from opening the gate without your permission. Furthermore, it must have a lock, and be locked, when there is no supervision around the pool.

Barrier Placement

The barrier will not be placed anywhere that would allow pool entry by climbing a tree, building or any other related item close to the barrier. In other words, the fence cannot be located close to anything, such as a tree, that would allow a person to climb the tree and entering your pool.

Local Regulations

Each municipality or zoning board has its own laws and regulations for above ground pools. These can vary significantly from region to region. Check with your local building department, and ask for guidance when designing an above ground pool fence.

About the Author

Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.

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