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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- fence image by EvilGirl from Fotolia.com